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From a Paintiug ij Paul Delaroche 

Napoleon Bonaparte, "Snuff Box" Portrait 

Military Career 


Napoleon the Great 

An Account of the Remarkable Campaigns 
of the " Man of Destiny " 

Authentic Anecdotes of the Battlefield as Told by the Famous 
Marshals and Generals of the First Empire 


Montgomery B. Gibbs 

^''He fought a thousand glorious wars. 

And more than half the world was his; 
And somewhere, now, in yonder sta rs. 
Can tell, m.ayhap, what greatness is.^' 

— Thackeray 



521-531 Wabash Ave. 




My Friend 


This Volume is 



5^ \\\ V) 


As the closing chapters of this volume were being 
written, a ' ' Napoleonic wave ' ' seemed to be passing over 
the country, an echo, no doubt, of the furore which Napo- 
leon's name has excited in France during the past three 
years. One writer wittily says : 

" Where'er I turn, I'm forced to learn, 

Some detail of his life, 

I read about his sword and hats, 

And how he beat his wife. ' ' 
It seems but fair, therefore, for the author of this volume 
to declare that the revival of interest in the career of the 
man who for fifteen years had been the glory of France, 
has in no way caused the hasty writing, or publication, of 
this anecdotal military history. It is the result of years 
of study, and represents, not only a careful reading of 
those authorities which all must have access to who would 
write intelligently of the subject, but also of the more 
recent volumes which have appeared from time to time, 
each having something new to reveal concerning the 
seemingly inexhaustible fund of information pertaining to 

this son of a poor Corsican gentleman, who as his greatest 
biographer has said of him, "played in the world the 
parts of Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar and Charlemagne." 

There has never been a time, during the last fifty years 
at least, when the public was not eager to learn something 
new concerning the wonderful career of the man who 
once held all Europe prisoner in the folds of the French 
flag. The world regards Napoleon Bonaparte as a military 
genius at least, whatever it may think of the political or 
social side of his life, and its relation to France. The 
writer does not believe that they are inseparably con- 
nected, and in offering this work it is his desire to better 
acquaint the admirers, as well as the enemies of the 
"Little Corporal," with his military career, not tech- 
nically, but to picture him as his marshals, generals and 
soldiers knew him on the battlefield and around the 

Many of these famous marshals and generals, who 
shared day by day all the glories and perils of their chief, 
and who vied with him in their activity and daring, have 
lately given to the world their ' ' Memoirs, ' ' published 
many years after their death, for obvious reasons. From 
them one gets a much clearer insight into the true 
characteristics of their heroic leader. Being men of sUght 
education their writings are confined largely to the gossip 
of the campaigns in which they were active participants, 
and in reading them one is often tempted to believe that 
Napoleon was in command of both belligerent armies, so 
accurately did this giant among warriors forecast the move- 
ments of the enemy on the battlefield ; and after victory 
had favored his bold strokes, finding himself in a position 
to reshape, at will, the map of Europe ; for he conducted 

his campaigns with a degree of skill which, it is conceded 
by all military authorities, has never been excelled. 

No man ever understood how to excite emulation, by 
distributing praise or blame, as did Napoleon. Chaboulon 
well says that the ascendancy possessed by the Emperor 
over the minds and courage of the soldiery was truly 
incomprehensible. A word, a gesture, was sufficient to 
inspire them with enthusiasm, and make them face the 
most terrible ordeals. If ordered to rush to a point, 
although the extreme danger of the manoeuvre might at 
first strike the good sense of the soldiers, they immediately 
reflected that their general would not have issued such a 
command without a motive, or have exposed them wan- 
tonly. ' * He knows what he is about, ' ' they would say, 
and immediately rush on to death, uttering shouts of 
' ' I/ong live the Kmperor !' ' 

No attempt is here made to give a history of France 
from the time Bonaparte first made his entrance into the 
drama of which he was so soon to be the leading actor. 
The successive periods of the Revolution, the Directory, 
the Consulate and the Empire are only introduced when 
found neccessary to explain the rapidly advancing steps 
of this wonderful character in history, the worshiped idol 
of an entire nation, that his military career may be the 
■better understood ; hence it has been thought advisable to 
refer briefly, at times, to the relations of France with other 
countries, and the cause of his spending, during the ten 
years of his reign as Emperor, exactly fifty-four days less 
in camp, and under the enemy's fire, so to speak, than he 
did in his royal residences ! 

This, then, is the story of the man who personally 
commanded in 600 skirmishes, and 85 pitched battles, 

resigning at last his leadership on the field of Waterloo, a 
victim of treachery and incompetency exceeding even his 
own well-grounded fears ; but even after these years of 
constant warfare and conquest, after maintaining huge 
armies in almost all parts of the world, he left France the 
richest nation in the universe, and in possession of a 
larger amount of specie than the rest of Europe ; and not- 
withstanding the fact that in 1796, when he was given 
command of the Army of Italy, he found his government 
not only incapable of paying its ragged and weary troops, 
but unable, even, to feed them ! 

M. B. G. 

Chicago^ III. December ^i, 18^4.. 


Chapter I. 


Boyhood Days and Eari,y Career .... 9 

Chapter II. 
Bonaparte's Campaign in Itai.y, 1796-7 .... 45 

Chapter HI. 
Expedition to Egypt 107 

Chapter IV. 
Passage of the Ai,ps and Battle oe Marengo . . 141 

Chapter V. 
Ui<M and Austerwtz 175 

Chapter VI. 
The Batti^E ok Jena 211 

Chapter VII. 
The BattivE of Eyi,au 230 

Chapter VIII. 
FRIED1.AND and Peace of Tilsit 241 

Chapter IX. 
War with Spain ■ . , , . 253 

Chapter X. 


War with Austria. 1809 ....... 274 

Chapter XI. 
The Batti^e oe Wagram . . . . . ., . 288 

Chapter XII. 
Campaign oe Russia 305 

Chapter XIII. 
The Campaign of 18 13 347 

Chapter XIV. 
The Invasion oe France 373 

Chapter XV. 
EX11.E TO Elba 409 

Chapter XVI. 
The Hundred Days. Waterloo 435 

Chapter XVII. 
Conclusion > . 489 

Index 5o7 





NapoIvKon Bonaparte "Snuff-Box " Portrait Frontispiece 


Bonaparte Escapes Capture at I^onato . . . 27 


Bonaparte at the BattivE of Rivoi.1 . , . . 59 

Bonaparte and the Si^EEping SenTinei, • • • 75 

Bonaparte at the Batti^e of St. George ... 91 

Siege of Mantua 107 

Bonaparte as General-in-Chief of the Army of Itai,y, 123 

BATTI.E of the Pyramids 139 

Bonaparte at the Siege of Acre .... i'>5 

Return of the French Army from Syria . . 171 

NapoivEon Crossing the Ai^ps ..... 187 

French Troops Crossing the Great St. Bernard . 203 

Capitui^ation OF Generai, Mack AT Ui,M . . . 219 

Batti^e of Austertjtz 235 

Meeting Between Napoi^eon and Francis II. of Austria 251 

NAPOIvEON at the BATTI.E OF JENA ... . 267 

Entry of napoi^eon Into Beri,in ..... 283 

Napoi,eon at the BattivE of Eyi,au .... 299 


The; 14TH IvINe; at Kyi^au 315 

Napoi.e;on at the Battiv^ of Friedi,and . . . 331 

Review oe Troops in the Pi,ace du Carrousei/, Paris. 347 

Insurrection in Madrid 363 

Napoi^eon at the Batti,e oe Wagram .... 379 

Arrivai. oe the Grand Army At Moscow . . . 395 

Retreat From Moscow, "1812" 411 

Departure oe Napoi^eon for Paris .... 427 

Return of Napoleon from 443 

Napoi<eon on the Heights at Ligny .... 459 

Preparations for the Advance of the Oi.d Guard at 

WATERI.00 475 

Napoleon at Waterloo 49^ 

Military Career 


Napoleon the Great 

An Account of the Remarkable 

Campaigns of the " Man 

of Destiny " 


When Napoleon was a pupil of the Military School at 
Brienne, as a pensioner of the king, he wrote to his 
mother in Corsica : 

"With Homer in my pocket, and my sword by my side, 
I hope to carve my way through the world !" 

Bonaparte was then a youth of but ten years of age. 
For nearly thirty-five years from this time his life was a 
series of achievements, the success of which has rarely 
been equalled, — ^from a military standpoint, never. 

His infancy was only different from that of most other 
boys in that he showed great animation of temper, and 
an impatience of inactivity, by which children of quick 
perception and lively sensibility are usually distinguished. 

It has been said that the name " Napoleon" was given 
to the new-born infant of Madame Bonaparte, according 
to a common custom among Catholics, of naming the child 


after the saint on whose festival it is baptized, and that the 
1 6th of August, the day of young Bonaparte's baptism, 
was the festival of St. Napoleon, (Napoleone), a saint then 
peculiar to Corsica. 

On the confirmation of young Bonaparte at the Paris 
Military School the archbishop who oflSciated, manifesting 
some astonishment at the name "Napoleon," said he 
did not know of any such saint, and that there was no 
such name in the calendar. 

'* That should be no rule," replied Napoleon quickly, 
' ' since there are an immense number of saints, but only 
three hundred and sixty-five days !" 

While an exile at St. Helena Napoleon said to O'Meara, 
his surgeon, " Saint Napoleon ought to be much obliged 
to me, and place all his credit in the other world to my 
account. The poor devil ! No one knew him once, he had 
not even a day in the calendar. I procured him one, and 
persuaded the pope to assign to him the 15th of August, 
my birthday. ' ' 

It has frequently been said of Napoleon that he was 
born to command. From his earliest youth he chose arms 
for his profession, and in every study likely to be of service 
to the future soldier he distinguished himself above his 
contemporaries. With the mathematical tutors he was 
always a great favorite. His ardor for the abstract sciences 
amounted to a passion, and was combined with a singular 
aptitude for applying them to the purposes of war, while 
his attention to pursuits so interesting in themselves was 
stimulated by his natural ambition and desire of distinction 
in this science. 

Even before Napoleon began his systematic training for 
a military career, and while but nine years of age, he 


developed a fondness for mimic warfare that frequently 
astonislied his older companions, many of whom were his 
superiors both in strength and endinrance ; but none of 
whom were able to cope with him in strategy, or whose 
resources, when put to test, were so versatile. At Ajaccio, 
the place of his birth, the city boys were often engaged in 
personal encounters with the youths from the country. At 
first these contests were but the natural outcome of a 
jealousy which is so often found to exist between city and 
country boys, who meet upon the same playground. At 
length this feeling of rivalry became more bitter, and on 
some occasions, especially on holidays, when the country 
lads were in the habit of " coming to town," as many as a 
score of them were often to be found on each side engaged 
in pitched battles with sticks and stones. 

The country youths had for a time been eminently 
successful in these encounters, and were disposed to 
braggadocio manners. They went about the streets with 
their heads lifted high, and as a result, the older folks soon 
began to take an interest in the outcome of the assaults. 
On several occasions, too, the parents of the youths were 
interested spectators of the contests, and although the 
flying missiles were extremely likely to injure the onlooker, 
no suggestion of putting an end to the battles was ever 
proposed by the older heads. 

Young Bonaparte was much chagrined at these defeats, 
and sought to find reasons for them. When not an active 
participant he would often withdraw to some secluded 
spot, and there watch the movements of either side, hoping, 
no doubt, to detect some flaw in their manner of fighting 
ihat he might take advantage of it at a later date, and thus 
recover the good name of his city comrades. It could not 



be in numbers that defeat lay for they were almost always 
equally divided, and besides, there seemed to be an 
unwritten law between them that ' ' Man against man ' ' 
must in common honor be observed. 

Finally Bonaparte hastily gathered about him a few of 
his chosen friends, in whom he had the most confidence, 
and laid before them a plan, which, if followed, he assured 
them would not only humiliate their hated rivals, but 
would also result in their complete overthrow. With 
shouts of approval his plan was at once declared "a tip-top 
one ' ' and his lieutenants proceeded to carry out his orders. 
He directed that a certain number of boys be formed into 
a company, whose duty it should be to supply ammunition. 
A ' ' defi ' ' was then sent to the conquerors who promptly 
replied that they had nothing to fear. It soon became 
noised about among the inhabitants of Ajaccio that a 
* ' final contest ' ' was to be fought on a certain day, and 
hours before the time set, hundreds of spectators were on 
hand to witness the contest which was destined to re-estab- 
lish' the prestige of the city boys. At length the fated 
hour arrived and the country boys made their appearance 
on the battlefield, armed with short sticks, — their usual 
weapons, — and full of confidence. For a short time 
Napoleon and his followers maintained their position 
against these sturdy warriors, although, as heretofore, they 
found themselves overmatched by mere force of brute 

Napoleon now gave the signal agreed upon to retreat. 
Slowly his forces gave way, endeavoring at the same time 
to keep up an appearance of fighting to the best of their 
ability. To reassure the country chaps that they were 
overpowering their contestants purely on their fighting 


merits, an occasional rally was ordered by the city leader ; 
but this show of resistance was always followed by him 
with another retreat more pronounced than that which 
preceded it. At length Napoleon found himself with his 
followers on the shore of the sandy beach and the country 
lads believed themselves conquerors once more. "Vic- 
tory!" "Victory!" they cried, as they came rushing up, 
expecting a complete surrender. In their haste to make 
a final assault the pursuers had not noticed that each of 
the city boys had laid down his stick and had his hand 
upon the ground. In it was grasped tightly a stone which 
was still partially covered by the sands of the beach. 

"Ready ! Fire !" shouted Napoleon, and immediately 
the air was filled with swift-flying stones, each of which 
was followed by a second and that by a third missile, all 
landing with terrific force on the unprotected heads and 
shoulders of the over-confident country lads. They had 
cried victory before the battle was won . 

In another moment they found themselves disorganized 
and the victims of shouts of derision that came from the 
spectators who had followed the retreating forces to see the 
final outcome of the battle. Sticks at a distance of 20 or 
30 feet were no match for the new weapons of the city lads^ 
and reluctantly they turned and fled, having themselves 
no stones to throw. 

Now it was Napoleon's forces who were the pursuers ; 
but the ranks of the sturdy country lads were sadly depleted 
and their resistance was brief. 

That night Napoleon was a hero in Ajaccio. With the 
older folks gathered about him he told and retold how he 
and his followers had spent the preceding night burying 
stones in the sand , that they might have them for weapons 


on tlie morrow when Napoleon's plan, which included 
retreat to this point on the beach, might be turned into 
the victory they had been assured would follow their ar- 
rival there. 

The student of Napoleon's military campaigns will detect 
in this manoeuvre a striking similarity to more sanguine 
contests on the battlefield where human lives were at stake. 

Throughout his life Napoleon's stronghold was strategy, 
and never was it more clearly illustrated than in this 
harmless contest of his youth, and to which he often 
recurred when passing an hour or two with his marshals 
and generals while preparing for contests on which the fate 
of France depended. 

Up to a few years ago, — it may to this present time, — 
an interesting relic of Napoleon's childhood was preserved 
in his native place. It was a small brass cannon, weighing 
about thirty pounds, and it is said he would leave all other 
amusements for the pleasure of firing off this dangerous 
plaything. His favorite retreat was a solitary summer 
house, among the rocks on the sea shore, about a mile 
from Ajaccio, where his mother's brother had a villa. The 
place is now in ruins ; it afterwards came to be known as 
" Napoleon's Grotto." Nothing interested him more 
during these early years, than to hear his mother tell the 
story of her exciting hardships as she fled from one part 
of the island to another before the conquering French. 
Thus, unconsciously, she no doubt nurtured in her second 
son that warlike spirit which was manifested in him to 
such a marked degree in after years. 

During the time Napoleon attended school, young men 
were taught that the only fame worth striving for was that 
won by military achievements. Napoleon's parents, 


therefore, exerted all the influence they could command to 
gain scholarships for the education of their two oldest 
sons, — Joseph and Napoleon. Their prayers were at last 
granted owing to the invaluable aid of Monsieur de 
Marboeuf, Bishop of Autun and nephew of the governor 
of Corsica. Joseph was to take orders and to be placed in 
the college of Autun ; Napoleon, intended for the navy, 
was to go to the school at Brienne, having previously gone 
through a course at Autun so as to learn sufficient French 
to be able to follow the lectures. They started on this 
journey, which was to have so much influence on their 
future lives, on December 15, 1778. After a halt at 
Florence to procure papers showing the ancient nobility 
of the Bonaparte family, and which were necessary to 
Napoleon before entering the school at Brienne, they pro- 
ceeded to Autun. The herald declared that, "Young 
Napoleon Bonaparte possessed the nobility necessary for 
admission into the ranks of the gentlemen who are educated 
by his Majesty in the royal schools." Charles Bonaparte 
had been able to satisfy the authorities that his patent of 
nobility was authentic and privileged him to sign his name 
" de Bonaparte." 

Napoleon arrived at Brienne, on the 23d of April, 1779, 
having in three months at Autun ' ' learned sufficient 
French to enable him to converse easily and to write small 
essays and translations. ' ' 

At Brienne Bourrienne, whose friendship for him com- 
menced thus early, describes him as follows : "Bonaparte 
was noticeable at Brienne for his Italian complexion, the 
keenness of his look, and the tone of his conversation with 
masters and comrades. There was almost always a dash 
of bitterness in what he said. He had very little of the 


disposition that leads to attachments; which I can only 
attribute to the misfortunes of his family ever since his 
birth and the impression that the conquest of his country 
had made on his early years. ' ' 

The fact that he was a brave, manly boy, all biographers 
agree in recording. His poverty subjected him to morti- 
fication among his comrades, who also ridiculed him on 
account of his country and twitted him with the obsolete 
saint whose name he bore. These taunts he allowed 
himself to settle with the offenders openly and never 
descended to report them to his tutors. On one occasion, 
with Bourrienne, who became his private secretary in later 
years, he suffered several days' imprisonment rather than 
reveal the names of the real offenders who had neglected 
their duties. 

Napoleon's promptitude of reply was displayed on many 
occasions during his attendance at this school. One day 
as he was undergoing an examination by a general ofl&cer, 
he answered all the questions proposed with so much pre- 
cision, and accompanied by such a depth of penetration, 
that the general, the professors and the students, were 
astonished. At length, in order to bring the interroga- 
tories to a close, Napoleon was asked the following question: 

' ' What line of conduct would you adopt in case you 
were besieged in a fortified place and was destitute of 
provisions ?" 

" So long as there were any in the camp of the enemy, 
I should never be at a great loss for a supply, ' ' came the 
answer quickly, amid the applause of the pupils. 

One of the most delightful winters of Napoleon's early 
life was that of 1782, spent at this military school. He 
was just at that age when a boy most keenly enjoys new 


scenes and new excitements. It was the thirteenth winter 
of his life. He was older than most boys are at thirteen. 
His mind and his muscles were better developed. But, 
nevertheless, he was still a boy. 

It happened that this winter was one of the coldest and 
most severe in the history of France, so memorable by the 
quantity of snow that fell and which accumulated upon 
the roads in great quantities. The snow came early and 
stayed late, and the students could find but little amuse- 
ment without doors. Napoleon was the first to suggest 
that it be used to develop their practical knowledge, and 
at the same time to beguile the weary hours they would 
otherwise be compelled to spend within doors. He said 
one day : 

" Let us divide into two hostile forces and battle, while 
the snow lasts, for the possession of the play ground." 

The proposition was received with favor and was unan- 
imously accepted. By common consent Napoleon, whose 
authority no one questioned, was chosen to command 
the projected mimic war, the school being divided into 
two equal armies. Bxtensive fortifications of snow were 
at once erected by busy hands who then armed themselves 
for the coming fray. So complete were the arrangements 
that even the inhabitants of the village gave up all other 
pursuits to witness the battles. For fifteen days, while the 
snow lasted, they built forts and counter-forts, dug trenches, 
constructed bastions and made or met sallies with snow- 
ball battles, neglecting for the nonce their less interesting 

It is related that Napoleon was greatly enraged one day 
to find that the other side had tried to get the best of his 
men by putting a round stone into each snowball, but when 


someone advised him to imitate the tactics of the foe he 
indignantly refused, saying that he would win without 
doing so or be beaten. 

The fort of the enemy was at last captured after Napoleon 
had gone through the formalities of a siege, in which he 
displayed much of the quickness of combination for which 
he was noted on the battlefield in after years. His soldierly 
methods electrified his fellow students and astonished the 
professors as well. " This little sham war," says Bour- 
rienne, " was carried on for the space of a fortnight, and 
did not cease until a quantity of gravel and small stones 
having got mixed with the snow of which we made our 
bullets, many of the combatants, besiegers as well as 
besieged, were seriously wounded. I well remember that 
I was one of the worst sufferers from this sort of grapeshot 

In 1783 Bonaparte, on the recommendation of the 
inspector of the twelve military schools, was sent from 
Brienne to the Royal Military School at Paris to have his 
education completed in the general school, — an extraordi- 
nary compliment to the genius and proficiency of a boy of 
fifteen. He was one of three to receive that honor, a 
tribute paid to the precocity of his extraordinary mathe- 
matical talent, and the steadiness of his application. The 
entry made at that time in the military records says : 

" Monsieur de Bonaparte (Napoleon) born August 15th, 
1769 ; in height four feet, ten inches, ten lines ; of good 
constitution, health excellent, character mild, honest and 
grateful; conduct exemplary ; has distinguished himself 
by application to mathematics ; understands history and 
geography tolerably well ; is indifferently skilled in merely 
ornamental studies, as well as in L^atin ; would make an 


excellent sailor ; deserves to be passed to the Military 
School at Paris." 

The young student did not arrive in Paris in the 
guise of the future conqueror of the world. On the 
contrary, he looked like a "new-comer;" he gaped 
at everything he saw, and gazed about in a dazed 
sort of way. As a Corsican compatriot who met him as 
he was getting out of the coach has said : ' ' His appear- 
ance was that of a youth whom any scoundrel would try 
to rob after seeing him, if indeed he had anything worth 
taking!" However, it should not be forgotten that he 
was but a youth of fifteen, felt his poverty keenly, and was 
about to enter into the noise and extravagant life of the 
rich students of this royal military school. As he himself 
said in 181 1 : "All these cares spoiled my early years ; 
they influenced my temper and made me grave before my 

At the Paris school Napoleon labored hard, as he 
had done at Brienne for five years, being especially 
proficient, as before, in mathematics. Everything was 
very luxurious here, and Bonaparte complained in a 
memorial, which he presented to the superintendent of 
the establishment, that the mode of life was too 
expensive and delicate for "poor gentlemen" and 
could not properly prepare them either for returning 
to their "modest homes," or for the hardships they would 
encounter in war. He proposed that instead of a regular 
dinner of two courses daily, the students should have 
ammunition bread and soldiers' rations, and be compelled 
to mend and clean their own stockings and shoes. "If I 
were king of France," he said one day to a companion, 
' ' I would change this state of things very quickly ! ' ' This 


memorial is said to have done him no service, for every 
third boy that looked on him was a duke from his cradle, 
while the Young Corsican was still a ' ' pensioner of the 
king ;" but the schools established by him after he became 
Kmperor were on that severe plan. ' ' Although believing 
in the necessity of show and magnificence in public 
life," says Meneval, his second private secretary, 
' ' Napoleon remained true to these principles, while 
lavishing wealth on his ministers and marshals : 'In your 
private life' said he, 'be economical and even parsimonious; 
in public be magnificent. ' ' ' 

On being reproved one day by an uncle of the Duchess 
d' Abrantes for ingratitude as a " pensioner of the king, ' ' 
he broke out furiously with an expression of indignation. 
"Silence!" said the gentleman at whose table he was 
sitting; "It ill becomes you, who are educated by the 
king's bounty, to speak as you do." 

"I am not educated at the >^zV/^'jr expense," replied 
Bonaparte, his face flushed with rage, " but at the expense 
of the nation !'' ' 

Young Napoleon made but poor advancement in the 
German language while at this school, and by reason of it 
ofiended M. Bauer his tutor. One day, not being in 
his place, M. Bauer inquired where he was, and was 
told that he was attending his examination in the 
class of artillery. 

"Oh! so he does learn something," said the professor 

"Why, sire, he is the best mathematician in the school," 
was the reply. 

' 'Ah, I have always heard it remarked and I have always 
believed, that none but a fool could learn mathematics!" 



"It would be curious," said Napoleon, who related this 
anecdote when he was Emperor, ' ' to know whether M. 
Bauer lived long enough to ascertain my real character, 
and to enjoy the confirmation of his own judgment." 

Napoleon had not been in the Military School of Paris a 
year, — during which time his father had died, — and had 
barely completed his sixteenth year, when he successfully 
passed the examination, in August 1785, — for a commis- 
sion in a regiment of artillery. 

On September ist the decree was signed which assigned 
Bonaparte as Second-Iyieutenant in the company of bom- 
bardiers of the regiment of La Fere garrisoned at Valence. 
At the time of the examination there were thirty -six vacant 
places. M. de Feralio, one of the professors of the military 
school charged with this examination, is said to have 
inscribed on the margin, opposite to the signature of 
Napoleon, the following : "A Corsican by character and 
by birth. If favored by circumstances this young man 
will rise high." This professor was very fond of 
his young pupil, and when at school is said to have 
occasionally supplied him with pocket money. After his 
death Napoleon granted a handsome pension to his widow. 

Napoleon's corps was at Valence when he joined it. 
Arriving there he was an occasional frequenter of the 
drawing room of Madame du Colombier, and it is said he 
made love to her daughter ; but when not so engaged, he 
was devoted to his military studies, and read frequently 
from the Lives of Plutarch, a volume of which he gener- 
ally carried about him . He a Iso occupied himself in writing 
a ' ' History of Corsica ' ' which, when completed, the Abbe 
Raynal and other friends praised very highly; but he was 
unable to find a publisher for it. 


At Valence Napoleon found the officers of his regiment 
divided, as all the world then was, into two parties ; the 
lovers of the French monarchy, and those who desired its 
overthrow. Napoleon openly sided with the latter. ' 'Had 
I been a general," said he, in the evening of his life, " I 
might have adhered to the king; being a subaltern I joined 
the patriots." 

In the beginning of 1792 Napoleon became captain of 
artillery, unattached, and happening to be in Paris, wit- 
nessed the lamentable scenes of the 20th of June, when 
the revolutionary mob stormed the Tuileries, and lyouis 
XVI. and his family, after undergoing innumerable insults 
and degradations, with the utmost difficulty preserved their 
lives. As he was strolling about with Bourrienne he saw 
the mob, numbering between five and six thousand, ragged 
and ridicrdously armed, coming from the outskirts and 
making for the Tuileries. ' ' I^et us follow these scoun- 
drels, ' ' he said. They went with the crowd into the garden 
before the palace, and when the king appeared at one of 
the windows on the balcony, surrounded by Revolutionists, 
and with the red cap of liberty, the emblem of theJacobins,on 
his head. Napoleon could no longer suppress his contempt 
and indignation. ' ' Poor driveller !" said he, loud enough 
to be heard by those near him ; ' ' how could he sufler this 
rabble to enter ? If he had swept away five or six hundred 
with his cannon, the rest would be running yet /' ' Napoleon 
always abhorred anarchy. He said there was no remedy 
for mobs but grape-shot, and believed thoroughly in the 
theory of shooting first and listening to peace negotiations 

He was also a witness of the still more terrible loth of 
August, in the same year, when the palace being once 


more invested, the National Guard assigned for its defense 
took part with the assailants. This time the royal family- 
were obliged to take refuge in the National Assembly, and 
the brave Swiss Guards were massacred almost to a man. 

Bonaparte was a firm friend of the Assembly, to the 
charge of a part of which, at least, these excesses must be 
laid ; but the spectacle disgusted him. The yells, screams, 
and pikes with bloody heads upon them, formed a scene 
which he afterwards described as ' ' hideous and revolting. ' ' 
But with what a different feeling of interest would he 
have looked on that infuriated populace, those still 
resisting though overpowered Swiss, and that burning 
palace, had any seer whispered to him : ' ' Emperor that 
shall be, all this blood and massacre is but to prepare your 
future Empire ! " 

He mingled little in society; but he saw much of the 
people and took sides irrevocably with the cause of the 
nation. At this time he was without employment and 
very poor, wandering idly about Paris, and living chiefly at 
cheap restaurants. As yet he had been but a spectator of 
the Revolution, destined to pave his own path to sovereign 
power; but it was not long before circumstances called 
him to play a part in this tragic drama which was then 
attracting the attention of the civilized world. 

It was shortly after these stirring scenes in Paris, that 
Bonaparte visited his mother in Corsica, arriving there with 
his sister EHza on September 1 7th, 1792. For the first time 
in thirteen years the family was reunited, and their joy 
would have been complete had their circumstances not been 
so sad. Their resources were diminishing day by day and 
the recovery of what was due them became constantly more 
difiicult, owing to civil discords. The only fund upon 



wliich they could rely seems to have been Napoleon's pay 
as an artillery officer. 

The following year, while Bonaparte was still enjoying 
the leave of absence from his regiment, an expedition arrived 
from France to deprive General Paoli, governor of Cor- 
sica, of his control, he having denounced the National 
Assembly as the enemy of France. Paoli endeavored to 
enlist Napoleon in his cause ; among other flat- 
teries he patted him on the back and said : ' ' You 
were cast in an antique mould ; you are one of Plutarch's 
men. The whole world will talk of you," but the young 
Corsican was loyal to France, and was not to be deceived 
by either entreaties or flattery. He declared his belief 
that Corsica was too weak to maintain indepen- 
dence, that she must fall under the rule either of France 
or England, and that her interests would be best served 
by adhering to the former. Napoleon then tendered his 
sword to Salicetti, one of the Corsican deputies to the Con- 
vention, and was appointed provisionally to the command 
of a battalion of National Guards. 

The first military service on which he was employed for 
his native country was the reduction of a small fortress, 
called the Torre di Capitello, near Ajaccio. He took it, 
but was soon besieged in it, and he and his garrison, after a 
gallant defense, and living for some time on horseflesh, were 
glad to evacuate the tower, and escape to the sea. Paoli 
was soon reinforced by England, and the Bonapartes 
were among those who were banished from the country. 
During this Corsican revolution the inhabitants were much 
divided as to the rights of England and France in the 
island. An officer in the French troops, who sided with 
England, was much scandalized at the position taken by 


the Bonapartes, — ^Joseph, Napoleon and lyUcien. One 
day, in the hearing of Napoleon, the officer made use of 
some very harsh language towards them, and was 
especially bitter against Napoleon. At this a friend de- 
fended him with much warmth and finished by saying to 
the officer : ' ' Sir, you are not worth a pair of Napoleon's 
old boots!" 

In the year 1 800, Napoleon then being First Consul of 
France, the officer who had defended him, and who 
had for some time followed his standard, and had been 
raised to distinction by him, happening to meet Bonaparte 
among a large party at dinner at the house of the First 
Consul's mother, was drawn aside before the company 
placed themselves at the table, and with his finger over his 
mouth, Napoleon said in a half- joking, half -serious man- 
ner : " My dear sir, not a word, I entreat you, about the 
old boots !" 

As a result of the insurrection in Corsica Napoleon saw 
Ajaccio in ashes, and the home of his childhood pillaged 
and burned ere he took his departure. His mother and 
sisters took refuge first at Nice, and afterwards at Mar- 
seilles, where for some time they suffered all the 
inconveniences of poverty and exile. At that period 
nothing was more deplorable than Bonaparte's pros- 
pects ; nothing more uncertain than the future. But 
he believed that fortune would not alv/ays abandon 
him. France was in the hands of men who acted largely 
from self-interest, and here he apparently saw a chance to 
carve his way to fame by getting in the vortex of the 
Revolution. It was probably on this occasion that he 
repeated the well-known words : " In a revolution a soldier 
should never despair if he possesses courage and genius." 


Napoleon now resolved to rejoin his regiment ; he had 
chosen France for his country, and ever afterwards 
it was his home until exiled to St. Helena. 

During the night of August 27th, 1793, Toulon was 
delivered to the English, and its subsequent siege and 
retaking was destined to be the first incident of importance 
which enabled Bonaparte to distinguish himself in the eyes 
of the French Government, and of the world at large. The 
head of lyouis XVI. had rolled from the block, and a 
month afterwards the Convention had declared war against 

Early in September France was attacked on every 
side, and a third of her provinces had rebelled against 
the government established at Paris, which enforced its 
supremacy by a regime carried on under a Reign of Ter- 
ror. Among the provinces in open insurrection were all 
those of the south. An army corps invested Lyons, while 
another, after subduing Marseilles, marched against Tou- 
lon, the great arsenal and seaport, and delivered by the Bour- 
bons into the hands of England. Adjutant Cervoni 
was at once dispatched to Marseilles to ascertain if he 
could find in that town some artillery officer of dis- 
tinction to whom might be intrusted the chief command 
of the siege batteries before Toulon. 

While strolling through the streets Cervoni met with a 
captain of artillery who was, like himself, perambulating 
the thoroughfares. This captain was a Corsican and a 
compatriot; his name was Napoleon Bonaparte. He was 
covered with the dust of the road along which he had 
been walking ; for he had just arrived from Avignon, 
whither he had escorted a convoy of ammunition, and 
was on his way to Nice. Cervoni thought that Bona- 


parte would be just the man to watch over the 
movements of the army before Toulon : he appeared very 
young, — ^he was only twenty-four years of age — ^butitwas 
stated that a month before the Republican army was on 
the point of beating a retreat in front of Avignon when he, 
with two field-pieces and eighty men, bombarded the town 
in the rear so effectively that the inhabitants and federal 
troops were overcome with fright and, convinced that they 
had been betrayed, abandoned the place to the Republi- 
cans who entered victorious, thanks to the boldness and 
foresight of Captain Bonaparte. 

Cervoni invited him to enter a cafe ; Bonaparte 
accepted, and the two men had a chat over a bowl of 
punch. The young captain doSed his hat, so that his 
features were lighted up by the blue flame of the liquor ; 
his complexion was sallow and his head large, measuring 
as it did twenty-three inches round. If the size of his 
skull was large, the space between the two cheek-bones 
was enormous. The hair grew low on his forehead ; the 
well-arched brows disclosed large eyes, sharp as steel, cold, 
clear and piercing ; the aquiline nose was of the most 
delicate shape, the lower lip strong and receding, while 
the chin and the jaws were as well developed as the skull. 

After a conference Napoleon departed for Toulon where 

he -was promoted to the rank of Brigadier- General of 

Artillery, with the command of the artillery during the 

siege. The arsenal was filled with military stores, and 

twenty-five English and Spanish battleships were then 

riding in the harbor to protect it. Three months had 

passed, during which time no apparent progress had 

been made towards the recapture of the town, and when 

Napoleon arrived he was invested with the command of the 

artillery train. 


A strong fort commanded the harbor, and after a care- 
ful examination Napoleon said the only way to retake Tou- 
lon was to neglect the body of the town, carry "Little 
Gibraltar, ' ' and the city would surrender in two days. 
Napoleon's brother Lucien visited him about this time. 
They went together one morning to a place where a fruitless 
assault had been made, and two hundred Frenchmen were 
dead upon the ground. On beholding them Napoleon 
exclaimed : " If I had commanded here all these brave 
men would still be alive!" A moment later he 
added : " Learn from this example, young man, how in- 
dispensable and imperatively necessary it is for those to 
possess knowledge who aspire to the command of others. ' ' 

Napoleon's own account of his experiences here is 
extremely interesting, and was thus related by him during 
his exile at St. Helena : 

" I reported, as I had been ordered to do," he said, "to 
General Cartaux, (a portrait painter of Paris ) who was 
in charge of the revolutionary forces. He was a tall man, 
all covered with gilt decorations, and a type of the militia 
officer. I saw at once that he was utterly incompetent to 
the task that had been laid out for him. I said : 'I have 
been directed to assist, under your order, in the taking of 
Toulon,' He replied : ' We need no assistance in taking 
Toulon ; but since they have sent you here you may enjoy 
yourself as best you can and see the siege. ' Then he gave 
orders to have me treated with courtesy. 

' ' Well, the next morning I went out with the general 
to look at the preparations for bombarding the stronghold. 
He called an aid-de-camp and asked in a business-like 
manner: ' Are the red-hot shot ready ?' I was surprised, 
but said nothing. The subordinate replied : ' Oh, yes, 


the men have been busy all night heating them. I was now 
more surprised than ever, but still kept silent. What 
followed would have made me believe they were trying to 
guy me if their manner had not been so serious. General 
Cartaux asked how they were going to get the red-hot 
shot over to the guns. That seemed to puzzle the aid-de- 
camp. The General himself didn't know what to do. 
After a great deal of speculation, and some swearing, he 
asked me what I would do under the circumstances. I said: 

' ' ' You will find it an excellent idea to try the range of 
your guns with cold shot first. If the range isn't right 
the hot-shot will be of no service. 

' ' He laughed merrily and agreed with me. The order 
was given to try the range. The result was that the cold 
shot didn't carry more than a third of the distance. The 
bombarding of the fort was put oif another day. 

" I/Uckily Gasparin, the direct representative of the 
people with plenary powers, came riding up that night, 
and I told him what I had seen and heard. He agreed 
that the man in command was incompetent, and put me in 
charge. You all know the rest. I began the attack on the 
outlet of Toulon and was successful. Gasparin consoled 
Cartaux by telling him that I was only a subordinate, and 
that all the glory would go to him anyhow. ' ' 

During this siege of the ' ' I^ittle Gibraltar Castle ' ' 
Bonaparte showed his extensive knowledge of mankind, 
and which enabled him to discover and attach to 
him those men whose talents were most distinguished, 
and most capable of rendering him service. Several who 
afterwards became marshals and generals under the Em- 
pire, first made Napoleon's acquaintance at Toulon. 
Among these were Duroc and Junot. During one of the 


days of this long siege Napoleon, in passing one of the 
trenches, called for some one to write an order from his 
dictation, and in obedience to this request a young and 
handsome soldier stepped out of the ranks, and resting his 
paper on the breastwork, began to write as directed. 
Scarcely had he done so when a cannon ball fell at his 
feet and covered both commander and private with dirt. 
The soldier laughingly held up his paper and said : 
"Thank you, now I shall need no sand." 

Napoleon was so pleased with his bravery, and ready 
wit, that he immediately promoted him. The name of this 
fortunate man was General Junot ; he subsequently became 
Duke of Abrantes and was one of the most distinguished 
generals of the Empire under Napoleon. An apparent 
total insensibility to fatigue was observed in the young 
Corsican officer at this time. He worked through day- 
light, and slept nights wrapped in a blanket under his 
guns till his batteries were ready to begin operations. 

During the siege Paris was very restless, and after a few 
weeks had passed it became almost the sole topic of conver- 
sation at the capital; the newspapers contained innumerable 
suggestions for the ending of the siege, and hundreds of let- 
ters were addressed to the officers at Toulon, telling them how 
to drive the English from the shores of France. One day 
fifteen carriages arrived at Toulon containing sixty young 
men who had journeyed thither from the capital ; they 
were gorgeously arrayed and asked to be presented to the 

Bonaparte received the party courteously and asked what 
he could do for them, "Citizen Bonaparte," said the 
spokesman , " we come from Paris. The patriots there are 
indignant at your indecision and delay. The soil of the 


Republic has been violated. She trembles to think that 
the insult still remains unavenged. She asks, ' Why is 
Toulon not yet taken ? Why is the Knglish fleet not yet 
destroyed ?' In her indignation she has appealed to her 
brave sons. We have obeyed her summons and burn with 
impatience to fulfill her expectations. We are volunteer 
gunners from Paris. Furnish us with arms. To-morrow 
we will march against the enemy !" 

Karly on the following day Napoleon conducted the 
" volunteers " to the seashore. During the night he had 
ordered a number of cannon placed in position and as he 
pointed to the black hull out at sea he said : ' ' Sink that 
ship !" 

At some distance from the shore lay an English frigate, 
upon whose deck were to be seen a formidable array of 
cannon, all pointed shorewards. 

" But there is no shelter here !" said the volunteers in 
chorus. At this moment a broadside was fired by the , 
gunners on the frigate and the brilliantly decorated 
patriots from the capital fled in every direction, amid the 
smiles of the commander-in-chief who at once gave orders 
for his own gunners to return the fire of the enemy. 
^ Toulon was at last retaken on December 17th, the siege 
having lasted four months. 

When Bonaparte at last raised the French emblem over 
the city, and as it floated with the breezes over a scene of 
desolation long remembered by those who witnessed it, he 
said to Dugommier : " Go to sleep; we have taken Toulon !" 

It was here that Napoleon was first severely wounded. 
When his body was being prepared for burial at St. Helena 
there was found upon his left thigh so deep a scar that it 
was nearly possible to place one's finger in it. This had 


been caused by a bayonet thrust received during this 
engagement, and in consequence of which he nearly lost his 
leg. In addition to the wound he had a number of horses 
shot under him. Another of the dangers which he incurred 
was of a singular character. An artilleryman being shot 
at the gun which he was serving, while Napoleon was visit- 
ing a battery, the commander took up the dead man's 
rammer, and to give encouragement to the soldiers, 
charged the gun with his own hands. The gunner had 
been afEicted with a skin disease which Napoleon con= 
tracted from the weapon, and for a number of years after- 
ward he suffered from its ravages. 

Soon after the retaking of Toulon Bonaparte accom- 
panied General Dugommier to Marseilles. Some one 
struck with his appearance asked the general who that little 
bit of an officer was, and where he picked him tipf 

" That officer's name," replied the general, " is Bona- 
parte: I picked him up at the siege of Toulon, to the 
successful termination of which he eminently contributed; 
and you will probably see, one day, that this little bit of an 
officer is a greater man than any of us!" 

Napoleon was now rapidly rising in reputation. His 
science as an artillery officer and his valor had saved France? 
from humiliation — taught her enemies to respect her — 
had suppressed the spirit of insurrection in the southern 
provinces, and had given the government of the Convention 
control of the whole army. 

It has been said that Napoleon's fame first came to the 
knowledge of Barras,, a member of the Directory, through 
a letter taken by his 5^oung protege to Paris not long after 
this siege. It was a commendatory letter addressed to 
Carnot in which Barras thus expressed himself : "I send 


you a young man who has distinguished himself very much 
during the siege, and earnestly recommend you to advance 
him speedily: If you do not, he will most assuredly advance 
himself /^^ 

Bonaparte's name was on the list of those whom the 
veteran Dugommier recommended for promotion, and he 
was accordingly confirmed in his provisional situation of 
chief of battalion and appointed to hold that rank in Italy. 
He therefore proceeded to join the headquarters of the 
French army then lying at Nice. Here he suggested a 
plan by which the Sardinians were driven from the Coe di 
Tendi. Saorgio, with all its stores, soon surrendered, and 
the French obtained possession of the maritime Alps, so 
that the difficulties of advancing into Italy were greatly 
diminished. Of these movements, however. Napoleon's 
superior officers reaped as yet the honor. While directing 
the means of attaining these successes Bonaparte acquired 
a complete acquaintance with that Alpine country in which 
he was shortly to obtain victories in his own name, not in 
that of others who were now rapidly acquiring reputation 
by acting on his timely suggestions. 

One of his favorite methods of planning manoeuvres he 
originated at this time while studying his maps and plans 
of the Alpine country. He had so familiarized himself 
with the locality that no point of importance was unknown 
to him. With this data before him, Bonaparte would sit 
for hours, intent on studying the maps of the country, and 
upon which he had stuck pins, the heads of which he had 
covered with wax of various shades. One color was used 
to designate the French, another the enemy, and by 
changing the location of the pins on the map he formed 
various intricate plans of attack and retreat that some 


years later were most valuable to him. This ingenious 
scheme is often used at the present day by large wholesale 
houses to designate the territory of their salesmen while 
travelling about the country. 

While in Nice Napoleon was suddenly arrested and 
thrown into prison on an order sent from Paris by the 
Committee of Public Safety. He had been sent there 
with secret instructions from the government ' ' to 
collect facts that would throw light upon the in- 
tentions of the Genoese government respecting coal- 
ition, etc. , " and although he acquitted himself with all the 
care necessary to success, his excess of zeal came nearly 
ending fatally to him, for it was a time when it was safe 
to have secrets from no one. It was a time, too, when 
revolutionists owed it to themselves to arrest their prede- 
cessors, and as there had been a change in the government, 
Napoleon's secret journey was unknown to Salicetti and 
Albitte, who had succeeded Ricord. 

Young Robespierre, who received the order of arrest, was 
much astounded at it. The document added that the 
prisoner was to be at once brought under a strong escort 
to Fort Carre near Antibes and there imprisoned and tried 
"for treason against the Republic." Robespierre asked 
Napoleon to come into his room, and showed him the 
document, which might mean death. Then he said: ' 'You 
must not go away yet. J will put you under arrest, and 
then I will write to my brother, who has some influence 
with the committee. He may be able to get the order 

Napoleon refused to get agitated over his arrest. Junot, 
Sebastiani and Marmont, his young aides-de-camp, had 
formed a plan of escape and advised him to choke the guard, 


Steal a small boat, and flee to the Corsican coast, where he 
could hide himself in the mountains. Bonaparte, knowing 
his innocence, refused to try to escape, but addressed the 
following letter to Junot, et al: "I fully recognize your 
friendship, my dear Junot, in the proposition you make me: 
you have long known the sincerity of mine for you, and I 
hope that you trust in it. Men may be unjust towards me, 
my dear Junot, but for me my innocence is sufficient. My 
conscience is the tribunal before which I summon my con- 
duct. This conscience is calm when I question it. Do 
nothing, therefore; all friendly greetings. Bonaparte;. 

Under arrest at Fort Carre, Antibes. ' ' 

It was only when told that he was dismissed from the 
army, and declared unworthy of public confidence, that he 
addressed a spirited letter to Albitte and Salicetti, the 
committee that ordered his arrest, and which caused them 
to reconsider their resolution. 

In his dramatic communication to this committee, Bona- 
parte said in part : ' ' You have suspended me from my 
functions, arrested and declared me suspected. Therein you 
have branded me without judging, — or rather judged with- 
out hearing. * * * Hear me ; destroy the oppression 
that environs me, and restore me in the estimation of 
patriotic men. An hour after, if villains desire my life, I 
shall esteem it but little ; I have despised it often." 

In a few days the influence of the great Robespierre had 
made itself felt; a message was consequently received re- 
scinding the order and Napoleon was honorably discharged 
from custody. His papers had been examined, and as 
nothing was found in them to implicate him, he was set at 
liberty at once. In those stormy times more than one 
innocent man had been sent to the guillotine on a less 


flimsy accusation than this, and Napoleon had, therefore, 
good reason to be thankful for the interposition of 

At this time the young warrior was most studious, and 
is said to have thus early acquired the habit of taking 
short snatches of sleep, which seemed to refresh him fully 
as much as the longer periods required by others. While 
at Nice one of his friends, on a particular occasion, went 
to Napoleon's apartments long before daybreak, and not 
doubting that he was still in bed, knocked gently at the 
door, fearful of disturbing him too abruptly. Upon enter- 
ing his chamber he was not a little astonished at finding 
Bonaparte dressed as during the day, with plans, maps and 
various books scattered around him. 

" What !" exclaimed the visitor, " not yet in bed?" 

" In bed," replied Napoleon, " I am already risen." 

" Indeed, and why so early ?" 

' ' Oh, two or three hours are enough for any man to 
sleep !" was the general's reply. 

Some years later, when Bonaparte was forming the 
' ' Code Napoleon " , he astonished the Council of State by 
the readiness with which he illustrated any point in dis- 
cussion by quoting the Roman Civil L^aw, a subject which 
might seem entirely foreign to him, since the greater part 
of his life had been passed on the battlefield. On being 
asked how he had acquired so familiar a knowledge of law 
affairs he replied : ' ' When I was lieutenant I was put 
under arrest, unjustly, it is true, but that is nothing to the 
point. The little room which was assigned for my prison 
contained no furniture but an old chair and an old cup- 
board : in the cupboard was a ponderous volume, older and 
more worm-eaten than all the rest. It proved to be a 


digest of the Roman law. As I had neither paper, pens, 
ink or pencil, you may easily imagine that this book was 
a valuable prize to me. It was so voluminous and the 
leaves were so covered with marginal notes in manuscript 
that, had I been confined one hundred years I could never 
have been idle. I was only deprived of my liberty ten 
days ; but, on recovering it, I was saturated with Justinian 
and the decisions of the Roman legislators. Thus, 1 
picked up my knowledge of the Civil Law. ' ' 

Bonaparte did not resume his functions at Nice, after 
his release from imprisonment, but repaired to Marseilles 
where his mother was living in distressed circumstances. 
Before the end of the year he again came 
to Paris to solicit employment. At first he met with 
nothing but repulses. Aubry, president of the military 
committee, objected to his youth, at which Bonaparte 
replied rather sharply : ' ' One ages quickly on battlefields, 
and I have just left one. ' ' The president, who had not 
seen much actual service himself, thought he was insulted, 
and treated Napoleon very coldly in consequence. 

Shortly afterwards Bonaparte was offered the command 
of a brigade of infantry which he refused, declaring that 
nothing could induce him to leave the artillery. Writing 
to Sucy, a friend, on this subject. Napoleon said: "I 
have been ordered to serve as a general of the line in I^a 
Vendee. I will not accept. Many soldiers could direct a 
brigade better than I, and few have commanded artillery 
with greater success. ' ' His refusal was followed by the 
erasure of his name from the list of general officers in em- 
ployment. Some time later he asked for a commission to 
Turkey to form a barrier against the encroachments of 
Russia and Kngland, but it was not granted. No answer 


was returned to his memorial, over which he conversed for 
some weeks with great enthusiasm . ' ' How strange it would 
be," he said to his friends, " if a little Corsican should be- 
come king of Jerusalem. ' ' Already he was contemplating 
greatness, and firmly believed in his " Star of Destiny." 

At length he was nominated to the command of a 
brigade of artillery in Holland. The long-deferred ap- 
pointment was, no doubt, very welcome ; but in the mean- 
time his services were called for in a more important field. 
When the National Guard sided with the enemies of the 
Convention, and took up arms against the Government, a 
man of force and decision was needed to defend them 
from the insurgents. A collision had taken place on 
October 3rd, 1795, when the troops of the Convention were 
withdrawn by that body. The insurgents, who repre- 
sented the forty-eight sections of Paris, were prepared to 
attack the Palace of the Tuileries next morning with up- 
wards of 40,000 men, and take the Government in their 
own hands. The nation, and especially the superior 
classes, aided by the Royalists, were indignant at the 
conduct of the members of the Convention, — who schemed 
to perpetuate themselves in ofiice, — and formed a most for- 
midable opposition to the measures of the existing Gov- 

General Bonaparte was at the theatre when informed of 
the events that were passing. He at once hastened to the 
Assembly where he found the members in the heat of de- 
bate and greatly exercised over their approaching danger. 

Deliberating with Tallien and Carnot, Barras, who had 
been present at Toulon during the siege, said : "There is 
but one man who can save us. I have the man whom you 
want ; it is a little Corsican officer who will not stmid upon 


ceremony r' Napoleon was sent for and notified that he 
had been chosen to defend the Government as second in 
command under Barras. Unknown to the Assembly, 
he had been present at their meeting, and heard all 
that had been said of him. He deliberated on the best 
course to pursue for more than half an hour, and at last 
decided to take up their cause, if allowed to do so in his 
own way. When Barras presented Napoleon to the Con- 
vention as a fit man to be intrusted with the command, the 
President asked : 

' ' Are you willing to undertake the defense of the Con- 

' ' Yes, ' ' was the reply. 

' ' Are you aware of the magnitude of the undertaking ?' ' 

' ' Perfectly ; and I am in the habit of accomplishing 
that which I undertake. I accept, but I warn you that, 
once my sword is out of the scabbard, I shall not replace 
it until I have established order. ' ' 

He refused, however, to accept the appointment unless 
he received it free from all interference. The trembling 
Convention quickly yielded, and although Barras enjoyed 
the title of ' ' Commander-in-chief, ' ' Bonaparte was act- 
ually in control of the troops. 

-Upon consultation with Menou, who was then in prison, 
and whom he succeeded. Napoleon quickly obtained the 
information desired. He learned that the available de- 
fense consisted of but 5,000 soldiers of all descriptions, 
with 40 pieces of cannon then at Sablons and guarded 
by only one hundred and fifty men. Without the loss of 
a moment Napoleon began his preparations for the morrow 
which was to decide whether the mob was to triumph, and 
France lose all the fruits of her Revolution, or law and 


order be established. His first act was to dispatch Murat, 
then a major of chasseurs, to Sablons, five miles off, where 
the cannon were posted. The Sectionaries sent a stronger 
detachment to seize these cannon immediately afterwards ; 
and Murat, who passed them in the dark, would have gone 
in vain had he received his orders but a few moments 
later, or had he been less active. 

When the reveille sounded on the morning of October 
4th, over 32,000 National Guards advanced by different 
streets to the siege of the palace ; but its defense was in 
firmer hands than those of Louis XVI.- the hero of Toulon 
was now at the helm. 

At the Church St. Roche the column which was ad- 
vancing along the Rue St. Honore, found a detachment 
of Napoleon's troops drawn up in line with two cannon to 
dispute their passage. It is unknown which side began the 
firing, but in an instant Napoleon's artillery swept the 
streets and lanes, scattering grape-shot among the National 
Guards, and producing such confusion that they were soon 
compelled to give way. The first shot was a signal for 
opening all the batteries which Bonaparte had established, 
the quays of the Seine opposite the Tuileries being com- 
manded by his guns below the palace and on the bridges. 

In less than an hour the action was over. The insur- 
gents fled in all directions, leaving the streets covered with 
the dead and wounded. The troops of the Convention 
then marched into the various Sections, disarmed the ter- 
rified inhabitants, and before nightfall everything was 
quiet. The sun went down as calmly over the 
helpless city as though nothing had happened. That same 
evening the theatres were opened and illuminated, and 
there were general rejoicings on almost every hand. 


Napoleon's star rose that night above the horizon ; all 
Paris rushed to catch a glimpse of the young commander, 
and for many years afterwards France continued to look 
to him for protection, — and not in vain. 

On the night of the 1 3th Vendemiaire Napoleon wrote 
to his brother Joseph, saying: "At last all is finished 
and I hasten to send you news of myself. The Royalists, 
formed into Sections, were becoming daily more threaten- 
ing. The Convention gave orders for the disarmament of 
the L,epelletier Section which resisted the troops. Menou, 
who commanded, was, it is said, a traitor, and was imme- 
diately disgraced. The Convention appointed Barras to 
command the armed forces ; the committee named me to 
command them under him. We placed our troops ; 
the enemy came to attack us at the Tuileries. We killed 
many of them, and lost thirty killed and sixty wounded of 
our men. We have disarmed the Sections, and all is peace 
again. As usual I am unhurt. P. S. Fortune is on my 
side. I^ove to Eugenie and Julie." 

Within five days from the defeat of the Sections Napo- 
leon was named second in command of the Army of the 
Interior, and shortly afterwards Barras, finding his duties 
as- director sufiicient to occupy his time, gave up the com- 
mand to his ' ' little Corsican officer. ' ' 

After his inauguration as general of the armed force of 
Paris, Bonaparte waited on each of the five directors. 
While on a visit to CarUot a celebrated writer was there by 
invitation, — it being presentation day, — and as the young 
commander entered, was singing at the piano forte accom- 
panied by a young lady. The entrance of Napoleon, then 
a short, well-made, olive-complexioned youth, amidst five 
or six tall young men who seemed to pay him the greatest 


attention, was a very surprising contrast, and made some- 
thing of a stir. 

On Bonaparte's entrance Carnot bowed witli an air of 
perfect ease and self-possession, and as he passed by the 
author the latter inquired the host who the gentlemen 

The director answered : ' ' The general of the armed force 
of Paris and hi& aides-de-camp." 

"What is his name?" said the author. 

" Bonaparte." 

" Has he any military skill?" 

"So it is said." 

"What has he ever done to render himself conspicuous?' ' 

' ' He is the oflficer who commanded the troops of the 
Convention on the Thirteenth Vendemiaire. " (Day of 
the defeat of the Sections). 

A shade passed over the visage of the inquirer, who 
happened to be one of the electors of the Vendemiaire, and 
he retired to one of the dark corners to observe the new 
visitor in thoughtfulness and in silence. Carnot then took 
occasion to predict that the young general would soon take 
another step to fame and glory. 

It was about this time that a lady asked Napoleon: 
' ' How could you fire thus mercilessly upon your coun- 
trymen ?' ' 

"A soldier," he replied calmly, " is only a machine to 
obey orders !" 

A few years before, while at a party given in the draw- 
ing rooms of M. Neckar, a celebrated financier, the Bishop 
of Autun commended Fox and Sheridan for having 
asserted that the French army, by refusing to obey the or- 
ders of their superiors to fire upon the populace, had set a 


glorious example to all the armies of Europe ; because, by 
so doing, they had shown themselves that men, by becom- 
ing soldiers, did not cease to be citizens. 

"Excuse me, if I venture to interrupt you; "said 
Napoleon quickly ^ * 'but as I am an officer, I must claim 
the privilege of expressing my sentiments. I sincerely 
believe that a strict discipline in the army is absolutely 
necessary for the safety of our constitutional government 
and for the maintenance of order. Nay, if our troops are 
not compelled unhesitatingly to obey the commands of 
the executive, we shall be exposed to the blind fury of 
democratic passions which will render France the most 
miserable country on the globe !" 

The action of the Assembly in placing Napoleon in 
command of the troops in Paris had caused his name to 
appear frequently in the newspapers, and thenceforth it 
emerged from obscurity. As commander his first act was 
to intercede for and gain the acquittal of Menou, his pre- 
decessor, who was then in prison, principally because of his 
failure to put down the rioters. 

Bonaparte now began to hold military levees, at one of 
which an incident occurred which gave at once a new 
turn in his mode of life, and a fresh impetus to the advance 
of-his fortunes. A beautiful boy about twelve years old 
appeared before Napoleon and said : " My name is Eu- 
gene Beauharnais. My father. Viscount, and a General 
of the Republican armies, has died on the guillotine, and 
I am come to pray you, sir, to give me his sword." Bon- 
aparte caused the request to be complied with, and the tears 
of the boy, as he received and kissed the relic, excited the 
commander's interest. The next day the youth's mother, 
Josephine Beauharnais, came to thank Napoleon for his 


kind treatment of her son, and her beauty and singular 
gracefulness of address made a strong impression 
upon him. Some time later he offered Josephine his 
hand ; she, after some hesitation, accepted it, and the 
young general by his marriage, which was celebrated on 
March 5th, 1796, thus cemented his favorable connection 
with the society of the IyUxembourg,and in particular, with 
Tallien and Barras, at that time the most powerful men 
in France. 

The first meeting with Eugene, and its influence upon 
Napoleon's marriage with Josephine, has been sometimes 
questioned by historians, many of whom have seemingly 
neglected the Exile's own verification of the story at St. 
Helena, in which, after relating the incident of Josephine's 
visit, he said to Dr. O'Meara : "I was much struck with 
her appearance (Josephine's), and still more with her 
esprit. This first impression was daily strengthened, and 
marriage was not long in following." 

Tranquility was now restored in Paris, and the Directors 
had leisure to turn their attention to the affairs of the Army 
of Italy, which was then in a most confused and unsatis- 
factory condition. They determined to place it under it a 
new general, and Bonaparte, then but twenty-six years of 
age, was appointed to the command of the Army of Italy. 
It is said that when the command was given Napoleon by 
Carnot (grandfather of the late Sadi-Carnot, president of 
the present French Republic) , the latter told him it was 
to the command of men alone that he could be appointed, 
the troops being destitute of everything but arms. Bona- 
parte replied, that provided he would let him have men 
enough, that it was all he wanted; he would answer for the 
rest, a promise that was soon fulfilled, for instead of an 


army wanting everything, it became, at the enemy's ex- 
pense, one of the best appointed in Europe. 

It was afterwards a matter of dispute between Carnot 
and Barras as to which of them had first proposed his 
appointment to this command. It is admitted in one of 
Josephine's letters that Barras had promised to procure the 
position for Bonaparte before his marriage took place 

One of the Directors hesitated and said to Napoleon, 
' ' You are too young. ' ' 

" In a year," he answered, " I shall be either old or 
dead !" 



When Napoleon set out from Paris on the 21st of March 
1796, to take command of the Army of Italy, after a 
honeymoon of but three days, he traversed France with 
th^ swiftness of a courier, turning aside but a few hours 
at Marseilles with his mother and family, whom he was 
now able to provide for in an adequate manner. His 
letters to Josephine were full of passionate expressions of 
tenderness, and regret at their separation. But after paying 
his tribute to the affections, his heart was speedily filled 
with exultation and triumph. For the first time he was 
chief in command; the power within him was now free to 
direct his actions, unhampered by the restraint he had so 


long felt in the capital. He was extremely anxious to 
commence the career to which Fate called him, by placing 
himself at the head of the Army of Italy at once. 

It would not be difficult to imagine with what delight 
this young general — then scarcely twenty-six years old — 
advanced to an independent field of glory and conquest, 
confident in his own powers, and in the perfect knowledge 
of the country which he had previously acquired. He 
had under his command such men, already distinguished 
in war by success and bravery^ as : Augereau, Massena, 
Serrurier, Joubert, lyannes, Murat, I^a Harpe, Stengel and 
Kilmaine, all of whom were astonished at the youthful 
appearance of their new commander. 

It was not without some discontent that the old generals 
beheld a young man, lately their inferior, taking the com- 
mand over their heads, — to which each supposed he had a 
prior claim, atid reaping the benefits of a plan of operations 
they did not imagine to have originated with himself. As 
he rode along the ranks the soldiers observed that he did 
not sit well on horseback, and complained that a " mere 
boy" had been sent to command them. The young 
general, however, soon obtained that respect for his 
character, which had been denied to his physical constitu- 
tion. The firmness he exhibited, soon put a stop to the 
insubordination which had prevailed in the army ; and, 
even before they had conquered under him, the troops 
became as submissive as at any subsequent period, when 
his character was fully established. 

Some years before, when Bonaparte was conversing at 
Toulon with M. de Volney, the well-known Corsican 
traveler and literary man, at a dinner given to the two 
friends by Turreau, then in command of the military force 


at Nice, a campaign in Italy was suggested. After the 
dessert was brought in Napoleon saidtoTurreau: "Don't 
you think its altogether too bad to have io;ooo men lying 
idle here at Nice when the Republic could make such 
excellent use of them in Italy ?' ' 

' ' Possibly, ' ' replied Turreau, ' ' but we can do nothing; 
we have no order to move from the Committee of Public 

" Then," said Napoleon, " it is your duty to make the 
committee ashamed of its inactivity. ' ' 

' ' What would you do if you could act as you pleased ?' ' 
asked Turreau. Napoleon promised to give a reply the 
next evening. At the time fixed he came prepared with 
a complete plan of campaign written out and classified 
under seventeen heads. It involved the invasion and 
conquest of Italy on almost the same lines that he was now 
about to undertake, and the outgrowth partially of that 
meeting, for Turreau forwarded the plan to the Committee 
of Public Safety at Paris on condition that it be put in the 
hands of Carnot, in whose judgment Napoleon had con- 
fidence. Carnot looked over the plan and was delighted. 
He was unable to secure immediate action, but two years 
later, when the invasion of Italy was determined upon, he 
had sufiicient influence to see that Napoleon was put in 
charge of it. 

Bonaparte arrived at the headquarters of the army at 
Nice on the 27th of March, 1796. The French Army of 
Italy, which amounted to 31,000 available men, had en- 
dured great hardships and privations, were destitute of 
shoes, clothing, and almost everything which their comfort 
demanded. The cavalry Was wretchedly mounted and 
they were very deficient in artillery. To silence their com- 


plaints, and reconcile them to their situation, as well as to 
endear them to himself , Napoleon lived familiarly with his 
soldiers, participated in their hardships and privations, and 
redressed many of their grievances . "My brave fellows , ' ' 
he said to them on one occasion, while endeavoring 
to revive their spirits ; ' ' although you suffer great priva- 
tions, you have no reason to be dissatisfied ; everything 
yields to power; if we are victorious, the provisions and the 
supplies of the enemy become ours ; if we are vanquished, 
we have already too much to lose. ' ' 

The allies, Austrian and Sardinian, were a greatly 
superior force, numbering as they did 80,000 men, were 
well equipped with supplies, and occupied in their own, or 
a friendly country, all the heights and passes of the Alps. 
Berthier, then on Napoleon's staff as major-general, took 
great pleasure in showing as a curiosity in after years a 
general order by which three louis-d'or were granted as a 
great supply for an outfit to each general of division, and 
dated on the ve:ry day of the victory at Albinga. 

On the 8th of April Napoleon wrote to the Directory : 
" I found this army, not only destitute, but without disci- 
pline ; their insubordination and discontent were such 
that the malcontents had formed a party for the Dauphin, 
and were singing songs opposed to the tenets of the Rev- 
olution. You may, however, rest assured that peace and 
order will be re-established; by the time you receive this 
letter, we shall have come to an engagement." 

It was under such circumstances that Bonaparte proposed 
forcing a passage to Italy and converting the richest 
territory of the enemy into the theatre of war. * * Sol- 
diers," said he to his destitute and disheartened men, 
"you are naked and ill-fed ; the Republic owes you much., 


but she has nothing with which to pay her debts. Your 
endurance and patience amidst these barren rocks deserves 
admiration ; but it brings you no glory. I come to lead 
you into the most fertile plains the sun shines upon. Rich 
provinces, and great cjties will soon be in your power ; 
there you will reap "riches and glory — they will be at 
your disposal. Soldiers of Italy! with such a prospect 
before you, can you fail in courage and perseverance?" 

This was the commander's first address to the army, 
and the words of encouragement which he gave them shot 
martial enthusiasm through their veins like electric fire. 
Under the incompetent management of Scherer the army, 
which had obtained some success against the Austrian 
general, De Vins, had been without glory, although their 
, battalions were headed by valiant officers whose leader 
had neglected to improve his good fortune. The French 
soldiers were thirsting for a commander capable of leading 
them on to fame and glory,the conquest of Italy, therefore, 
seemed reserved for General Bonaparte. 

Napoleon's system of tactics, although then unknown 
even to his officers, were a fixity with him. They appear 
to have been grounded on the principle that ' ' the com- 
mander will be victorious who assembles the greatest 
number of forces upon the same point at the same moment, 
notwithstanding an inferiority of numbers to the enemy 
when the general force is computed on both sides. ' ' He 
eminently possessed the power of calculation and combi- 
nation necessary to exercise these decisive manoeuvres. 

Napoleon's career of victory began, as it continued, in 
defiance of the established rules of warfare, and what distin- 
guished him above all his contemporaries was his ability 
to convert the most unfavorable circumstances into the 


means of success. He perceived that the time was come for 
turning a new leaf in the history of war. With such numbers 
of troops as the impoverished RepubHccordd afford him, he 
soon saw that no considerable advantages could be obtained 
against the vast and highly-disciplined armies of Austria 
and her allies unless the established rules of etiquette and 
strategy were abandoned. It was only by such rapidity 
of motion as should utterly surprise the superior numbers 
of his adversaries that he could hope to concentrate the 
entire energy of a small force, such as he commanded, 
upon some point of a much greater force, and thus defeat 
them. He knew he would have to deal with veteran sol- 
diers and experienced generals — men who had learned the 
art of war before he was born. He therefore resolved that 
every movement should be made with celerity, and every 
blow be leveled where it was least expected. 

To effect such rapid marches as he had determined upon, 
it was necessary that the soldiery should make up their 
minds to consider tents and baggage as idle luxuries ; and 
that instead of a long and complicated chain of reserves 
and stores, they should dare to rely wholly for the means 
of sustenance on the countries into which their venture- 
some leader might conduct them. 

The objects of Napoleon's expedition were to compel 
the king of Sardinia, who maintained a powerful army in 
the field, to abandon the alliance of Austria ; to compel 
Austria to concentrate her forces in her Italian provinces, 
thus obliging her to withdraw them from the bank of the 
Rhine where they had long hovered. It was hoped, also, 
to humble the power of the Vatican and break the prestige 
of its Jesuitical diplomacy forever. He had as yet 
achieved no fame in the field and not a general in Europe 


would have blamed him if he had only succeeded in hold- 
ing the territory of Nice and Savoy, which France had 
already won. 

Napoleon's plan of reaching the fair regions of 
Italy differed from that of all former conquerors ; they had 
uniformly penetrated the Alps at some point of access in 
that mighty range of mountains ; he judged that the same 
end might be accomplished more easily by advancing along 
the narrow strip of comparatively level country that inter- 
venes between those enormous barriers and the shores of 
the Mediterranean Sea, and forcing a passage at the point 
where the last or southern extremity of the Alps melt, as 
it were, into the first and lowest of the Appenine range. 

No sooner did he begin to concentrate his troops towards 
this region than Beaulieu, the Austrian general, took 
measures for protecting Genoa and the entrance of Italy 
with a powerful, disciplined and well-appointed army. 
He posted himself with one column at Voltri, a town on 
the sea some ten miles west of Genoa ; D' Argenteau, with 
another column occupied the heights of Montenotte, while 
the Sardinians, led by General Colli, formed the right of 
the line at Ceva. This disposition was made in compli- 
ance with the old system of tactics ; but it was powerless 
before new strategy. The French could not advance 
towards Genoa but by confronting some one of the three 
armies and these Beaulieu supposed were too strongly 
posted to be dislodged. 

On the morning of the 12th of April, 1796, when 
D' Argenteau advanced from Montenotte to attack the 
column of Rampon, he found that by skillful manoeuvres 
during the night Napoleon had completely surrounded 
him — a man who had fancied there was nothing new to 
be done in warfare. 


On the previous day the Austrians had driven in all the 
outposts of the French and appeared before the redoubt of 
Montenotte, This redoubt, the last of the intrenchments, 
was defended by 1,500 men commanded by Rampon who 
made his soldiers take an oath, during the heat of the 
attack, to defend it or perish in the intrenchments, to 
the last man. The repeated assaults of the French were 
without avail, their advancement was checked and they 
were kept the whole night at the distance of a pistol shot, 
400 men being killed by the fire of their musketry alone. 

At daybreak, the following morning, Bonaparte then 
being at the head of the French forces, and having intro- 
duced two pieces of cannon into the redoubt during the 
night, the action was recommenced with great vigor and 
with varying success. The contest had continued for 
sometime, when Bonaparte,withBerthierand Massena ap- 
pearing suddenly with the centre and left wing of the army 
upon the rear and flank of the enemy, A e at once 
commenced a furious attack, filled them with terror and 
confusion, and decided the fate of the day. D' Argenteau, 
who commanded the rear, had fought gallantly, but seeing 
that to continue the battle would only end in total destruc- 
tion, he fled, leaving his colors and cannon, a thousand 
killed and two thousand prisoners. 

Thus was the centre of the great Austrian army com- 
pletel}^ routed before either its commander-in-chief at the 
left, or General Colli at the right, knew that a battle had 
begun. It was from this battle, the first of Napoleon's 
victories, that the French Bmperor told the Bmperor of 
Austria, some years later, that he dated his nobility. 
"Ancestors?" said Napoleon, "I, sir, am an ancestor 
myself ; my title of nobility dates from Montenotte ! ' ' 


This victory enabled the French, under La Harpe, to 
advance to Cairo, and placed them on that side of the Alps 
which slopes toward Lombardy. 

Beaulieu now fell back on Dego, where he could open 
his communication with Colli, who had retreated to 
Millessimo, a small town about nine miles from Dego. 
Here the two commanders hoped to unite their forces. 
They were soon strongly posted, and dispatching couriers 
to Milan for reinforcements, intended to await their 
arrival before risking another battle. It was their object 
to keep fast in these positions until succor could come 
from lyombardy; but Napoleon had no intention of giving 
them such a respite ; his tactics were not those of other 

The morning after the victory of Montenotte Bonaparte 
dispatched Augereau to attack Millessimo ; Massena to 
fall on Dego, and I^a Harpe to turn the flank of Beaulieu. 

Massena carried the heights of Biestro at the point of the 
bayonet, while La Harpe dislodged the Austrian general 
from his position, which separated him hopelessly from 
the Sardinian commander and put him to precipitate flight. 
By these movements Bonaparte was in such a position, 
that, though they had not traversed, his army had at all 
events scaled the Alps. 

Meanwhile Augereau had seized the outposts of Millessimo 
and cut off Pro vera, with 2,000 Austrians who occupied 
an eminence upon the mountain of Cossaria, from the main 
body of Colli' s army. Provera took refuge in a ruined 
castle which he defended with great bravery, hoping to 
receive assistance from Colli. 

The next morning Napoleon, who had arrived in the 
night, forced Colli to battle and compelled him to retreat 


towards Ceva. Provera imitated the gallant example of 
Colonel Rampon in his defense, but not with the same 
success. He was compelled to surrender his sword to 
Bonaparte at discretion, after a loss of 10,000 in killed and 
prisoners, twenty-two cannon and fifteen standards. 
The French found on the summit of the Alps every species 
of ammunition and other necessities which the celerity of 
their march had prevented them from carrying. 

Dego, situated at the summit of the Alps, secured the 
entrance of the French into Italy, cut off the communi- 
cations between the Austrian and Sardinian armies, and 
placed the conqueror in a situation to crush them in 
succession one after the other. Beaulieu, fully sensible of 
the danger of his situation, collected the best troops in his 
army, and at break of day on the 15th of April, retook 
Dego at the head of 7,000 men 

The Ahstrians stood two attacks headed by Napoleon, 
but at the third Causse rushed forward, holding his plumed 
hat on the point of his sword, and Dego was soon again 
in possession of the French. For this piece of gallantry 
he immediately received the rank of brigadier-general. 
Here also, I^annes, who lived to be a marshal of the 
Empire, first attracted the notice of Napoleon, and was 
promoted from lieutenant-colonel to colonel. The triumph, 
however, was purchased with the life of the brave General 
Causse. He was carried out of the melee mortally 
wounded. • Napoleon passed near him as he lay . "Is Dego 
retaken ?" asked the dying ofiicer. " It is ours," replied 
Napoleon. ' ' Then long live the Republic ! ' ' cried Causse , 
" I die content. " 

Hotly pursued by the victors, Colli rallied his fugitives 
at Mondovi, where they again yielded to the irrisistible 


onset of the French, the Sardinian commander leaving his 
best troops, baggage and cannon on the field. The action 
was a most severe one in which, among others, the French 
general, Stengel, a brave and excellent oflEicer, was killed, 
and the cavalry would have been overpowered but for the 
desperate valor of Murat. 

The Sardinians lost ten stands of colors and fifteen 
hundred prisoners, among whom were three generals. 
The Sardinian army had now ceased to exist, and the 
Austrians were flying to the frontiers of I^ombardy. 

Napoleon, following up his advantage, entered Cherasco, 
a strong place about teii miles from Turin, as a conqueror. 
Here he dictated the terms by which the Sardinian king 
could still wear a crown. From the castle where he stood, 
and looking off on the garden-fields of lyombardy — ^which 
had gladdened the eyes of so many conquerors — with the 
Alps behind him, glittering in their perennial snows, 
Napoleon said to his officers : * ' Hannibal forced the Alps — 
we have turned them." To his soldiers, whom he 
addressed in a proclamation, he said: "In fifteen days 
you have gained six victories, taken twentj^-one stands of 
colors, fifty-five pieces of cannon, several fortresses, and 
conquered the richest part of Piedmont : you have made 
15,000 prisoners, killed or wounded upwards of 10,000 
men. Hitherto you have fought for barren rocks, rendered 
famous by your valor, but useless to your country. Your 
services now equal those of the victorious army of Holland 
and the Rhine. You have provided yourselves with 
everything of which you were destitute. You have gained 
battles without cannon ! passed rivers without bridges ! 
made forced marches without shoes ! bivouacked without 
strong liquors and often without bread ! Republican 


phalanxes, Soldiers of Liberty, only, could have endured 
all this. Thanks for your perseverance ! If your con- 
quest of Toulon presaged the immortal campaign of 1793, 
your present victories presage a still nobler. But, soldiers, 
you have done nothing while so much remains to be done; 
neither Turin or Milan are yours. The ashes of the Con- 
querors of the Tarquins are still trampled by the assassins 
of Basse ville." 

To the Italians Napoleon said : "People of Italy ! The 
French army comes to break your chains. The people of 
France are the friends of all nations — confide in them. 
Your property, your religion and your customs shall be 
respected. We make war with those tyrants alone who 
enslave you. " - 

The French soldiers, flushed with victory, were eager 
to continue their march, and the people of Italy hailed 
Napoleon as their deliverer. The Sardinian king did not 
long survive the humiliation of the loss of his crown — he 
died of a broken heart within a few days after he signing 
the treaty of Cherasco. 

In the meantime the couriers of Napoleon were almost 
every hour riding into Paris with the news of his victories, 
and five times in six days the Representatives of France 
had decreed that the Army of Italy deserved well of their 

Murat was sent to Paris bearing the news of the capit- 
ulation of the king of Sardinia, and twenty-one stands of 
colors. His arrival caused great joy in the capital. 

The consummate genius of this brief campaign could 
not be disputed, and the modest language of the young 
general's dispatches to the Directory lent additional grace 
to his fame. All the eyes of Europe were fixed in admi= 
ration on his career. 


In less than a month's campaign Napoleon laid the 
gates of Italy open before him ; reduced the Austrians to 
inaction ; utterly destroyed the Sardinian king's army, 
and took two great fortresses called ' ' the keys to the 

To effect the rapid movements required for such results, 
everything was sacrificed that came in the way, not only 
on this occasion, but on every other. Baggage, stragglers, 
the wounded, the artillery — all were left behind, rather 
than the column should fail to reach the destined place at 
the destined time. Napoleon made no allowance for 
accidents or impediments. Things until now reckoned 
essential to an army were dispensed with ; and, for the 
first time, troops were seen to take the field without tents, 
camp equipage, magazines of provisions, and military 
hospitals. Such a system naturally aggravated the 
horrors of war. The soldiers were, necessarily, marauders, 
and committed terrible excesses at this first stage of the 
campaign ; but every effort was made, and with much 
success, to prevent this evil after conquest had put the 
means of regular supply within the power of the com- 
mander-in-chief. The wounded were frequently left 
behind for want of the means of conveyance. According 
to. one authority, the loss by the disorders inseparable 
from this means of war was four times as great as by the 
fire or the sword of the enemy. 

The army, nevertheless, adored its fortunate general, 
and it still doted upon him even when undeceived respect- 
ing his providence for it. "To be able to solve this 
enigma, ' ' says General Foy, ' ' it was requisite to have 
known Napoleon, the life of camp and of glory , and, 
above all, one must have a French head and heart." 


With the sufferings of the army, he never failed to show 
an active sympathy when it did not tend to the compromise 
of his plans. The hours, too, spent by Napoleon on 
the field after a battle, endeared him to his followers. 
He visited the hospitals in person and made his officers, 
after his example, take the utmost interest in this duty. 
His hand was applied to the wounds ; his voice cheered 
the sick. All who recovered could relate indi\ddual acts 
of kindness experienced from him by themselves or their 

It was at this period that a medal of Napoleon was 
struck at Paris as conqueror of Montenotte. The face 
is extremely thin, with long, straight hair. On the 
reverse, a figure of Victory is represented flying over the 
Alps, bearing a palm branch, a wreath of laurel and a 
drawn sword. It was the first of the splendid series 
designed by Denon to record the victories and honors of 
France's great warrior. 

Napoleon determined to advance without delay, giving 
Tuscany, Venice, and the other Italian States no time to 
take up a hostile attitude. After accomplishing so much, 
a general of less enterprise might have thought it right to 
rest awhile and wait for reinforcements before attempting 
further conquest, but not so with Napoleon. The French 
army, to which recruits were now flocking from every 
hospital and depot witnin reach, was ordered to prepare 
for instant motion. 

It was after one of the successful movements of this period 
that an old Hungarian officer was brought prisoner to 
Bonaparte, who entered into conversation with him, and 
among other matters asked what he thought of the state 
of the war. ' ' Nothing, ' ' replied the prisoner, who did 


not know he was addressing the commander-in-chief, 
' ' nothing can be worse. Here is a young man who knows 
absolutely nothing of the regular rules of war ; to-day he 
is in our rear, to-morrow on our flank, the next day again 
in our front. Such violations of the principles of the art 
of war are intolerable sir, and we do not know how to 
proceed !" 

To secure the route to Milan it was necessary to drive 
the Austrians from the banks of the Adda, behind which 
they had retired after a heavy loss at Fombio. I^annes 
upon that occasion gave proofs of his astonishing intre- 
pidity ; at the head of a single battalion, he attacked 
between seven and eight thousand Austrians, and not 
content in causing their flight, he pursued them ten miles, 
following the trot of their cavalry on foot. 

Having collected an immense quantity of artillery and 
the main division of his army at a narrow wooden bridge 
erected across this stream at the town of lyodi. General 
Beaulieu awaited the arrival of the French, confident of 
defending the passage of the Adda and arresting their 
progress. Beaulieu had placed a battery of thirty cannon 
so as to completely sweep every plank of the bridge. 
Had he removed the structure, which was about 500 feet 
in .length, when he changed his headquarters to the east 
bank of the river, he might have made the passage much 
more formidable than even his cannon made it. 

Well aware that his conquest would never be consolidated 
till the Austrian army was totally vanquished, and 
deprived of all its Italian possessions, Bonaparte hastened 
to pursue the enemy to lyodi. Coming up on the loth of 
May, he easily drove the rear-guard of the Austrian army 
before him into the town, but found his further progress 


threatened by the tremendous fire of thirty cannon stationed 
at the opposite end of the bridge so as to sweep it com- 
pletely. The whole body of the enemy's infantry drawn 
up in a dense line, supported this appalling disposition of 
the artillery. 

Bonaparte's first care was to place as many guns as he 
could get in direct opposition to the Austrian battery. 
He was determined that no obstacle should oppose his 
victorious career, and at once resolved to pass the bridge. 

Kxposed to a shower of grape-shot from the enemy's 
batteries, Napoleon at last succeeded in planting two 
pieces of cannon at the head of the bridge on the French 
side, and to prevent the enemy from destroying it a column 
was immediately formed from the troops that at once 
appeared, determined to carry the pass. The French now 
commenced a fearful cannonading. Bonaparte himself 
appeared in the midst of the fire, pointing with his own 
hand two guns in such a manner as to cut off the Aus- 
trians from the only path by which they could have 
advanced to undermine the bridge. 

Observing, meanwhile, that Beaulieu had removed his 
infantry to a considerable distance backwards, to keep 
them out of the range of the French battery, Napoleon 
instantly detached General Beaumont and his cavalry, 
with orders to gallop out of sight, ford the river, 
and coming suddenly upon the enemy, attack them in the 
rear. When that took place Napoleon instantly drew up 
a body of 3,000 grenadiers in close column under the 
shelter of the houses, and bade them prepare for the 
desperate attempt of forcing a passage across the nar- 
row bridge, in the face of the enemy's thickly-planted 


A sudden movement in the flanks of the enemy now 
convinced Napoleon that his cavalry had arrived and 
charged the enemy's flank, and he instantly gave the 
word. In a moment the brave grenadiers wheeled to the 
left and were at once upon the bridge, rushing forward at 
a charge step, and shouting : ' ' Vive la Republique !' ' ; 
but the storm of grape-shot from the enemy's guns checked 
them for a moment. It was a very sepulchre of death and 
a burning furnace of destruction pouring out its broadsides 
of fire in defense of its position ; a hundred brave men 
fell dead. The advancing column faltered under the 
redoubled roar of the guns and the rattle of grape- 

I^annes, Napoleon,Berthier and L' AUemand now hurried 
to the front, rallied and cheered the men, and as the column 
dashed across and over the dead bodies of the slain which 
covered the passageway, and in the face of a tempest of 
fire that thinned their ranks at every step, the leaders 
shouted : " Follow your generals, my brave fellows !" 

I^annes was the first to reach the other side. Napoleon 
himself being second. 

The Austrian artillerymen were bayoneted at their guns 
before the other troops, whom Beaulieu had removed too 
far -back in his anxiety to avoid the French battery, could 
come to their assistance. Beaumont pressing gallantly 
with his horse upon the flank, and Napoleon's infantry 
forming rapidly as they passed the bridge, and charging 
on the instant, the Austrian line at once became involved 
in inextricable confusion. The contest was almost 
instantly decided ; the whole line of Austrian artillery was 
carried ; their order of battle broken ; their troops routed 
and put to flight. 


The slaughter of Austrians amounted to vast numbers, 
while the French lost but 200 men. Thus did Bonaparte 
execute with such rapidity and consequently with so little 
loss ' ' the terrible passage, "as he himself called it, * ' of 
the bridge of Lodi." It is justly called one of the most 
daring achievements on record. 

The victory of Lodi had a great influence on Napoleon's 
mind. He declared subsequently that neither his success 
in quelling the ' 'Sections, ' ' nor his victory at Montenotte, 
made him regard himself as anything superior ; but that 
after lyodi, for the first time the idea dawned upon him 
that he would one day be " a decisive actor, " as he him- 
self put it, on the stage of the military and political world. 
That he was a fatalist is well-known, it being a frequent 
expression with him that " every bullet is marked." 

On this occasion the soldiers conferred on him the nick- 
name of "lyittle Corporal." The original cause of the 
appellation, as applied to Bonaparte, has been related by 
Napoleon himself. He says that when he commanded 
near the Col di Tende the army was obliged to traverse a 
narrow bridge, on which occasion he gave directions that 
no women should be allowed to accompany it, as the 
service was particularly difficult, and required that, the 
troops should be continually on the alert; to enforce 
such an order he placed two captains on the bridge with 
instructions, on pain of death, not to permit a woman to 
pass. He subsequently repaired to the bridge himself, for 
the purpose of ascertaining whether his orders were being 
scrupulously obeyed, when he found a crowd of women 
assembled, who, as soon as they saw him, began to revile 
him, exclaiming : ' ' Oh, then, petit corporal, it is you who 
have given orders not to let us pass !" 


Some miles in advance Napoleon was surprised to see a 
considerable number of women with the troops. He 
immediately ordered the two captains to be put under 
arrest and brought before him, intending to have them 
tried immediately. They protested their innocence, 
asserting that no women had crossed the bridge. Bona- 
parte caused some of the females to be brought before 
him, and learned with astonishment, from their own 
confession, that they had emptied some casks of provisions 
and concealed themselves therein, by which means they 
had passed over unperceived. 

After every battle the oldest soldiers convened a council 
in order to confer a new rank on their young general, 
who, on making his appearance, was saluted by his latest 
title. Bonaparte, therefore, was nominated corporal at 
lyodi, and sergeant 2X Castiglione. It was "lyittle Corporal, ' ' 
however, that the soldiery constantly applied to him ever 

The fruits of this splendid victory at Lodi were twenty 
pieces of cannon, and between two and three thousand 
killed, wounded and prisoners, and the loss by the enemy 
of an excellent line of defense. 

When Europe heard of the battle they named the con- 
queror ' ' The Hero of Lodi. ' ' 

Beaulieu contrived to withdraw a part of his troops, 
and gathering the scattered fragment of his force together, 
soon threw the line of the Mincio, a tributary of the Po, 
between himself and his enemy. The great object, how- 
ever, he had attained, — he was still free to defend Mantua. 

The French following up their advantages at Lodi, 
pursued the Austrians with great celerity. They advanced 
to Pizzighitone, which immediately surrendered. Push- 



ing on to Cremona they met witli like success, and the 
vanguard, having taken the route to Milan, entered this 
city on the 14th of May, having on their march received 
the submission of Pavia, where they found most of the 
magazines of the Austrian army. The tri-colored flag 
now waved in triumph from the extremity of thelvake of 
Como and the frontiers of the country to the gates of 

The Austrians having evacuated Milan, when the French 
prepared to enter it, a deputation of the inhabitants laid 
the keys of its gates at their feet. A few days later, 
although the archduke had fled from his capital, over- 
whelmed with sorrow and mortification, the people collected 
in vast multitudes to witness the entry of the French, 
whom they hailed as their deliverers. The imperial arms 
were taken down from the public buildings and at the 
ducal palace this humorous advertisement was posted up: 

'A House to Rent. 

Inquire for the keys at 

Citizen Sai^icetti's, 

The French Commissioner." 

The entry of Bonaparte into Milan under a triumphal 
arch and surrounded by the grenadiers of lyodi, among 
whom some generals were conspicuous, was eminently 
brilliant. The splendid carriages of the nobility and 
aristocracy of the capital went out to meet and salute him 
as the " Deliverer of Italy," and returned in an immense 


cavalcade, amidst the shouts and acclamations of an inntnn- . 
erable multitude, and accompanied by several bands play- 
ing patriotic marches, the procession stopping at the palace 
of the archduke, where Bonaparte was to take up his 
headquarters. The ceremonies of the day were concluded 
by a splendid ball at which the ladies showed their Repub- 
lican feeling by wearing the French national colors in 
every part of their dress. On the same day Bonaparte 
entered Milan the treaty with the king of Sardinia and 
the Directory was signed at Paris. 

Napoleon now addressed himself again to his soldiers, 
reminding them of their victories and responsibilities yet 
to come. "To you, soldiers," he said, " will belong the 
immortal honor of redeeming the fairest portion of Europe. 
The French people, free and respected by the whole world, 
shall give to Europe a glorious peace, which shall indem- 
nify it for all the sacrifices it has borne the last six years. 
Then by your own firesides you shall repose, and your 
fellow -citizens, when they point out any one of you, shall 
say : ' He bei.onge;d to The Army of Itai^y !' " 

From that period the Army of Italy was no longer a tax 
upon France, but on the contrary was a great source of 
revenue to her, and assisted in paying her other armies. Six 
weeks after the opening of the campaign, independent of 
ten million of francs placed at the disposal of the Directory, 
Bonaparte sent upwards of two hundred thousand francs 
to the Army of the Alps, and a million to the Army of the 
Rhine, thereby paving the way to his future greatness. 

Bonaparte remained but six days in Milan ; he then 
proceeded to pursue Beaulieu, who had planted the remains 
of his army behind the Mincio. The Austrian general 
had placed his left on the great and strong city of Mantua, 


-which had been tenned " the citadel of Italy," and his 
right at Peschiera, a well-known Venetian fortress. The 
Austrian veteran occupied one of the strongest positions 
that it is possible to imagine, and Bonaparte hastened once 
more to dislodge him. 

The French Directory, meanwhile, had begun to enter- 
tain suspicion as to the ultimate designs of their young 
general, whose success and rising fame had already reached 
so astonishing a height. That they were exceedingly 
jealous of him there seems to be no doubt, and they deter- 
mined to check, if they could, the career of a man of whom 
they seemed to be in fear, Bonaparte was therefore ordered 
to take half his army and lead it against the pope and the 
king of Naples, and leave the other half to terminate the 
conquest with Beaulieu at Mantua, under the orders of 
Kellerman. He answered by offering to resign his com- 
mand. " One half of the Army of Italy cannot sufEice to 
finish the matter with the Austrians," said he. "It is 
only by keeping my force entire that I have been able to 
gain so many battles and to be now in Milan. You had 
better have one bad general than two good ones !" 

The Directory did not dare to persist in displacing the 
chief whose riame was considered as the pledge of victory, 
and he continued to assume the entire command of the 
Army of Italy. 

Another unlooked-for occurrence delayed for a few days 
the march upon Mantua. The success of the French and 
their exactions where victorious, had fostered the ire of a 
portion of the populace throughout I^ombardy. Reports 
of new Austrian levies being poured down the passes of 
Tyrol were spread and believed. Insurrections against 
the conqueror now took place in various districts, placing 


thirty thousand men in arms. At Pavia the insurgents 
were entirely triumphant ; they seized the town and com- 
pelled the French garrison to surrender. This flame, had 
it been suffered to spread, threatened immeasurable evil 
to the French cause. 

I^annes instantly marched to Binasco, stormed the place, 
burnt it and put many of the insurgents to the sword. 
Napoleon appeared before Pavia, blew the gates open, took 
possession and later caused the leaders to be executed. 
At lyUgo, where another insurrection took place, the 
leaders were tried by court martial and condemned. 

These examples quelled the insurrectionists, and the 
French advanced on the Mincio, Bonaparte made such 
disposition of his troops that Beaulieu believed he meant to 
cross that river, if he could, at Peschiera. Meanwhile the 
French had been preparing to cross at another point, and 
on the 30th of May actually forced the passage of the 
Mincio, not at Peschiera, but further down at Borghetto. 
The Austrian garrison at this point in vain destroyed one 
arch of the bridge. Bonaparte quickly supplied the breach 
with planks, and his men, flushed with so many victories, 
charged with a fury not to be resisted. While the French 
were laboring to repair the bridge, under the fire of the 
enemey's batteries, impatient of delay, fifty grenadiers 
threw themselves into the river, holding their muskets 
over their heads with the water up to their chins , General 
Gardanne, a grenadier in courage as well as in stature, 
being at their head. The Austrians who were nearest, 
recollecting the terrible column at lyodi, fled. When the 
bridge was repaired the French entered Vallegio, where 
Beaulieu' s headquarters had been stationed a short time 
previous. The latter was obliged to abandon the Mincio 


as he had the Adda and the Po, and to take up the new 
line of the Adige. 

The left line of the Austrian force, learning from the 
cannonade that the French were at Borghetto, hastened to 
ascend the Mincio with a view of assisting in the defense 
of the division engaged with the enemy. They arrived 
too late, however, to be of assistance, as the commander 
at Borghetto had retreated before they arrived. They 
came, however, unexpectedly, and at a moment when 
Bonaparte and a few friends, believing the work of the 
day to be over and the village safe from the enemy, were 
about to sit down to dinner, as they thought, in security. 
Sebetendorfif, who commanded the division, came up rap- 
idly into the village, but with no idea what a prize was 
within his grasp. Bonaparte's attendants had barely time 
to shut the gates of the inn, and alarm their chief by the 
cry, "To arms!" They defended the house with obsti- 
nate courage while Bonaparte threw himself on horseback 
and galloping out by a back passage, effected the narrowest 
of escapes, proceeding at full speed to join Massena's 

It was shortly after this that Bonaparte met with an 
experience that gave him the idea of the ' ' Imperial Guard 
of Napoleon" and which throughout his military career 
he ever afterwards maintained as a personal guard. It 
was the duty of this body, consisting of veterans who 
should number at least ten years of active service, to 
remain alwaj^s near the person of the commander-in-chief, 
and who were only brought into action when important 
movements or desperate emergencies required their utmost 
energies. They were placed under the command of 
Bessieres at this time, and were known as " I^e Corps de 


During the same campaign Bonaparte again narrowly 
escaped being taken a prisoner. Wurmser, who had been 
compelled to throw himself into Mantua, having suddenly- 
debouched on an open plain, learned from an old woman 
that not many minutes before the French general, with 
only a few followers, had stopped at her door and fled at 
the sight of the Austrians. Wurmser immediately dis- 
patched parties of cavalry in all directions to whom he 
gave orders that if they came up with Napoleon he should 
not be killed or harmed ; fortunately, however, for the 
French commander, destiny and the swiftness of his horse 
saved him. 

In their different engagements, the grenadiers had 
learned to laugh and sport at death ; they despised the 
Austrian cavalry and nothing could equal their intrepidity 
but the gaiety with which they performed their forced 
marches, singing alternately songs in praise of their coun- 
try and of love. Instead of sleeping they amused them- 
selves during most of the night, each telling a tale, or 
forming his own plans of operation for the following 

Sebetendorff was soon assaulted by a French column and 
retreated, after Beaulieu's example, on the line of the 
Adige. The Austrian commander had, in effect, aband- 
oned for a time the open country of Italy. He now lay 
on the frontier, between the vast tract of rich province, 
which Napoleon had conquered, and the Tyrol. Mantua, 
which possessed immense natural advantages, and into 
which the retreating general had flung a garrison of full 
fourteen thousand men, was, in truth, the last and only 
Italian possession of the imperial crown, which, as it 
seemed, there might be a possibility of saving. 


Beaulieu anxiously awaited the approach of new troops 
from Germany, to attempt the rehef of this great city ; 
and Bonaparte, eager to anticipate the efforts of the 
imperial government, sat down immediately before it. 

Mantua lies on an island, being cut ofE on all sides from 
the main land by the branches of the Mincio, and approach- 
able only by five narrow causeways of which three were 
now defended by strong and regular fortresses or intrenched 
camps ; the other two by gates, drawbridge and batteries. 
The garrison was prepared to maintain the position, was 
well-nigh impregnable and the occupants awaited the hour 
to discover whether Napoleon possessed any new system 
of attack capable of shortening the usual operations of a 
siege as effectually as he had already done by the march 
and the battle. 

It was a matter of high importance that Napoleon 
should reduce this place quickly, for a large army under 
Field- Marshal Wurmser,one of the most able and experi- 
enced of the Austrian generals, was about to enter Italy. 
His commencement gave cause for much alarm to those 
within the fortress. Of the five causeways, by .sudden 
and overwhelming assaults, he obtained four ; the garrison 
was cut off from the main land except at the fifth cause- 
way, the strongest of them all, named from a palace near 
it, " lya Favorita." It seemed necessary, however, in 
order that this blockade might be complete, that the Vene- 
tian territory, lying immediately behind Mantua, .should 
be occupied by the French, and the claim of neutrality 
was not allowed to interfere with Napoleon's plans. 

"You are too weak," said Bonaparte, when a Venetian 
envoy reached his headquarters, ' ' to enforce neutrality 
on hostile nations such as France and Austria. Beaulieu 


did not respect your territory when his interest bade him 
violate it ; nor shall I hesitate to occupy whatever falls 
within the line of the Adige. ' ' 

Garrisons were placed forthwith in Verona and all the 
strong places of that domain. Napoleon now returned to 
Milan to transact important business, leaving Serrurier 
and Vaubois to blockade Mantua. 

The king of Naples, utterly confounded by the success 
of the French, was now anxious to secure peace on what- 
ever terms proposed, and Bonaparte, knowing that it 
would result in a withdrawal of some valuable divisions 
from the army of Beaulieu, arranged an armistice which 
was soon followed by a formal peace, and the Neapolitan 
troops, abandoning the Austrian general, began their 
march to the south of Italy. This was followed by 
peace arrangements with the Pope of whom Na- 
poleon demanded, and obtained, as a price of the 
brief respite from invasion, a million sterling, one 
hundred of the finest pictures and statues in the papal 
gallery, a large supply of military stores and the cession 
of Ancona, Ferrara and Bologna, with their respective 
domains. The siege of the citadel of Milan, rigorously 
pressed, was at length successful. The garrison capitu- 
lated on the 29th of June, and by the i8th of July, one 
hundred and forty pieces of cannon were before Mantua. 

The French general had stripped Austria of all her 
Italian possessions except Mantua, and the tri-color was 
waving from the Tyrol to the Mediterranean. Napoleon 
was now, in effect, master of Italy. Future success seemed 
to him to be assured, although the French Directory was 
with difficulty persuaded to let him follow the course he 
had adopted for himself. 


The cabinet of Vienna at last resolved upon sending 
stronger reinforcements to the Italian frontier, and Bona- 
parte was now recalled from Milan to the seat of war to 
defend himself against them. What the Austrian court 
now feared was that Napoleon, who had already annihi- 
lated her Italian army, and had wrested from her the 
Italian domains, would soon march into the heart 
of her Empire and dictate a peace under the walls of 
her capital. All Italy was now t-ubdued or in alliance 
with the French Republic except Mantua. 

Beaulieu, who had been so thoroughly routed by Napo- 
leon, was to be no longer trusted. Finding himself 
incompetent to withstand a general * ' whose mistress was 
glory and whose companion was Plutarch ' ' while travers- 
ing the Tyrol with the wrecks of his army, forwarded a 
letter to Vienna which fully displayed the irritated feelings 
of the veteran commander at this time. He said- : "I 
hereby make known to you that I have only 20,000 men 
remaining, while the enemy's forces exceed 60,000. I 
further apprise you, that it is my intention to retreat 
to-morrow, — the next day — the day following — nay, every 
day, — even to Siberia, should they pursue me so far. My 
age accords me liberty to be thus explicit. Hasten to 
ratify peace,be the conditions what they may ! ' ' Wurmser, 
whose reputation was of the best, and who was older than 
Beaulieu but not less obstinate, was sent to replace him, 
and 30,000 men were drafted from the armies on the 
Rhine charged with restoring the fortunes of Austria 
beyond the Alps. Wurmser' s orders, too, were to 
strengthen himself, on his march, by whatever recruits he 
could raise among the warlike and loyal population of 
the Tyrol. 


When he fixed his headquarters -at Trent, Wurmser 
mustered in all 80,000 men, while Napoleon had but 
30,000 — ^not 60,000 as Beaulieu had stated — to hold a 
wide country in which abhorrence of the French 
cause was now prevalent, to keep the blockade of 
Mantua, and to oppose this fearful odds of numbers in the 
field. The French commander was now, moreover, to 
act on the defensive, while his adversary assmned the more 
inspiriting character of the invader. 

Wurmser was unwise enough to divide his magnificent 
army into three separate columns, which, united, Napoleon 
never could have met ; but each of which was soon succes- 
sively broken and captured. Melas with the left wing was to 
march down the Adige and expel the French from Verona; 
Quasdonowich with the right wing followed the valley of 
the Chiese towards Brescia, to cut off Napoleon's retreat 
on Milan ; Wurmser himself led the centre down the left 
shore of I^ake Guarda towards the besieged castle of 

The eye of Napoleon, who had hitherto been watching 
with the intensity of an eagle's gaze all the movements of 
his antagonist, now saw the division of Quasdonowich sep- 
arated from the centre and left wing, and he flew to the 
encounter, although he was obliged to draw off his army 
from the siege of Mantua, something which very few gen- 
erals would have done. On the night of July 31st, he 
buried his cannon in the trenches and intentionally marked 
his retreat with every sign of precipitation and alarm. 
Before morning the whole French army had disappeared 
from Mantua and by a forced march regained possession 
of Brescia. Napoleon was hurrying forward to attack the 
right wing of the Austrian army before it could effect a 
junction with the central body of Wurmser. 


A courier could hardly have borne to Quasdonowich 
the news of his raising the siege of Mantua before Napoleon 
had attacked and overwhelmed him, and he was glad to 
save his shattered forces by falling back on the Tj^rol. 

This ill-omened beginning aroused the ire, and quick- 
ened the evolutions of Wurmser, and falling on the rear- 
guard of Massena under Pigeon, and Augereau under 
Vallette, the one abandoned Castiglione and the other 
retired on Lonato. These inconsiderable Austrian suc- 
cesses were obtained by good generalship, and Wurmser 
now attempted to open a communication with his defeated 
lieutenant. His columns were weakened by extending 
the line, and Massena at once hurled two strong columns 
on lyonato, retaking it, and throwing the Austrian forces 
into utter confusion. 

The battle of lyonato occurred on the 3d of August 
(1796) . At daybreak the whole of the French army was 
in motion, Augereau moving with the right wing towards 
Castiglione. General Pigeon , who commanded the French 
advance guard, was taken prisoner with three pieces of 
cannon ; when, at the moment the Austrians were extend- 
ing their line, Napoleon sent forward in close columns the 
1 8th and 32d demi-brigades, which being supported by a 
strong reserve, broke the enemy's line of battle. The 
artillery and prisoners made under General Pigeon, were 
thus retaken, and the French entered lyonato. 

At Castiglione a firm stand was again taken by the 
fleeing Austrians, but Augereau forced the position against 
a defense double in numbers and for which he was afterward 
created Duke of Castiglione in memory of his exploit. 

On that day the Austrians lost twenty pieces of cannon, 
from three to four thousand men killed and wounded, and 


four thousand prisoners, among wliom were three generals. 
Before this engagement Napoleon suddenly found himself 
placed between two armies each of which was more num- 
erous than his own. In this situation of affairs, no one of 
his generals entertained the least hope ; but what was the 
astonishment of the soldiers, when they first assembled in 
presence of their chief, to observe no alteration in his 
countenance. ' ' Fear nothing, ' ' said the commander to 
them, ' ' show that you remain unchanged ; preserve your 
valor, your just pride, and the remembrance of your 
triumphs ; in three days we shall retake all that we have 
lost. Rely on me ! You know whether or not I am in 
the habit of keeping my word. ' ' 

In this memorable battle Napoleon raised himself to an 
equality with the greatest generals. Although the posi- 
tion in which he was placed was critical to an eminent 
degree, he contrived to turn all the success gained by 
Wurmser to the advantage of the French army, and that 
by the mere strength of his genius alone. Junot distin- 
guished himself by extraordinary efforts of courage in 
these actions. He was thus mentioned in the dispatch 
sent by Napoleon to the Directory after the victory : "I 
ordered my aide-de-camp, General-of-Brigade Junot, to 
put himself at the head of my company of Guides to pur- 
sue the enemy and overtake him by great speed at Dezen- 
zano. He encountered Colonel Bender with a party of his 
regiment of hussars, whom he charged ; but Junot, not 
wishing to waste his time by charging the rear, made a 
detour on the right, took the regiment in front, — wounded 
the colonel whom he attempted to take prisoner when he 
was himself surrounded, — and after having killed six of 
the enemy with his own hand, was cut down and thrown 
into a ditch. ' ' 


The Austrians, still able to collect 25,000 men and a 
numerous cavalry, now fled again in all directions upon 
the Mincio where Wumser himself, meanwhile, had been 
employed in revictualling Mantua. When Wurmser 
reached this point he was utterly astounded to find the 
trenches abandoned and no enemy to oppose. One of the 
defeated Austrian divisions wandering about without 
method in anxiety to find their commander or any part of 
his army that was still in the field, came suddenly on 
Lonato, the scene of the recent battle, and at a moment 
when Napoleon was there with only his staff and Guard 
about him. He was not aware that any considerable 
body of the enemy remained in the neighborhood, and 
but for his great presence of mind must have been taken 
prisoner. As it was, he turned his critical position into 
an advantage. The ofiicer who had been sent to demand 
the surrender of the town was brought blindfolded, accord- 
ing to custom on such occasions, to his headquarters. 
Bonaparte, by a secret sign, caused his whole staff to draw 
up around him, and when the bandage was removed from 
the messenger's eyes, exclaimed to him: "What means 
this insolence ? Do you beard the French general in the 
very centre of his army ? Go and tell your general that I 
give him eight minutes to lay down his arms ; he is in 
the midst of the French army, and if a single gun is fired, 
I will cause every man to be shot. ' ' The ofiicer, appalled 
at discovering in whose presence he stood, returned to his 
comrades with Napoleon's message. 

The general of the enemy's column now made his 
appearance, stating his willingness to surrender and capit- 
ulate. "No" replied Bonaparte with energy, "you 
are all prisoners of war. ' ' Seeing the Austrian officers 


consulting together Napoleon instantly gave orders that 
the artillery should advance and commence the attack. 
On observing this the general of the enemy's forces ex- 
claimed, "We all surrender at discretion !" The short- 
ness of time allowed prevented the truth from being 
discovered, and they gave in to a force about one-fourth 
of their own. They believed that lyonato was occupied by 
the French in numbers that made resistance impossible. 
When the four thousand men had laid down their arms 
they discovered that if they had used them nothing could 
have prevented Napoleon from being taken as their prize ! 

Wurmser, whose fine army was thus being destroyed in 
detail, now collected together the whole of his remaining 
force, and advanced to meet the Conqueror. He had 
determined on an assault and was hastening to the encoun- 
ter. They met between L,onato and Castiglione, and 
Wurmser was totally defeated, besides narrowly escaping 
being himself taken a prisoner. He was pursued into 
Trent and Roveredo, the positions from which he had so 
lately issued confident of victory. In this disastrous 
campaign he had now lost forty thousand soldiers — half 
his army — and all his artillery and stores, while Bona- 
parte placed his own loss at seven thousand. The French 
soldiers have called this succession of victories ' 'the cam- 
paign of five days." The rapid marches and incessant 
fighting had exhausted the troops, and they now abso- 
lutely required rest. 

During the exciting days while the campaign with 
Wurmser lasted. Napoleon never took off his clothes, nor 
did he take the time to sleep except at brief intervals ot 
less than an hour. His exertions, which were followed 
by such signal triumphs, were such as to demand some 


repose, yet he did not pause until he saw Mantua once 
more completely invested. The reinforcement and re vic- 
tualling of the garrison were all that Wurmser could show 
in requital of his lost artillery, stores and forty thousand 

While Napoleon was giving some respite to his wearied 
army and rendering the subjugation of Italy complete, 
Austria was hurrying a new army to the relief of its aged 
but not disheartened marshal. The reinforcements of 
twenty thousand fresh troops at last arrived, and Wurmser 
was again in the field with fifty thousand men — an army 
vastly larger than Napoleon's. But once more he divided 
his forces and again each division was to be cut to pieces. 
He marched thirty thousand men to the relief of Mantua, 
and left Davidowich at Roveredo with twenty thousand 
men to protect the passes of the Tyrol. The two Aus- 
trian divisions were now separated and their fate was 

On September 4, by the most rapid marches Europe 
had ever seen, Napoleon, having penetrated the designs 
of the Austrian general, reached Roveredo where Davido- 
wich was intrenched in a strong position before the city, 
covered by the guns of the Galliano castle overhanging 
the town. 

The camp was yielded on the same day before the ter- 
rific charge of General Dubois and his hussars. The 
latter, though mortally wounded, cheered his men on 
with his dying words, and as he fell pressing the hand of 
the general-in-chief , said : ' ' Let me hear the shout of 
victory for the Republic before I die. ' ' These words fired 
his troops with deep ardor, and they drove the Austrians 
through the town and carried the frowning heights of the 


castle at the point of the bayonet, as they had carried the 
batteries of lyodi. The French pursued the fleeing Aus- 
trians throughout the night and Wurmser was cut off 
from the Tyrol. 

Scarcely had the Austrian commander recovered from 
his surprise at hearing of the overthrow of his lieutenant 
at Roveredo before Napoleon, by a march of sixty miles 
in two days, descended in front of his vanguard at Pri- 
molano and cut it to pieces, taking four thousand prison- 
ers. The same night Napoleon's army advanced on 
Bassano where on Sept. 8 Wurmser made his last stand 
with the main body of his army. 

While Augereau penetrated the town on his left, 
Massena entered it on his right, seizing the cannon that 
defended the bridge on the Bretna and overthrowing the 
old grenadiers who attempted to cover the retreat of their 
general. Five thousand prisoners, five standards, thirty- 
five pieces of cannon with their caissons fell into the hands 
of the French, and Wurmser himself narrowly escaped 
being taken. I^annes seized one of the standards with 
his own hands ; and, inconsequence, Bonaparte demanded 
for him the rank of general of brigade. ' ' He was, ' ' he 
said, ' ' the first who put the enemy to rout at Dego, who 
passed the Po at Plaisance, the Adda at Iyodi,and the first 
to enter Bassano. ' ' 

The number of the dead near the latter place was con- 
siderable. Curious to ascertain the loss of the enemy, 
Bonaparte in the evening rode over the field with his staff. 
when his notice was attracted by the bowlings of a dog 
that seemed to increase as they approached the spot whence 
the yells proceeded. " Amidst the deep silence of a beau- 
tiful moon-light night, ' ' said Napoleon some years later, 


" a dog, leaping suddenly from beneath the clothes of his 
dead master, rushed upon us, and then immediately 
returned to his hiding-place, howling piteously. He 
alternately licked his master's hand, and ran toward us, 
as if at once soliciting aid and seeking revenge. Whether, 
owing to my own particular turn of mind at the moment, 
the time, the place, or the action itself, I know not, but, 
certainly, no incident, on any field of battle, ever produced 
so deep an impression on me. I involuntarily stopped to 
contemplate the scene. This man, thought I, has friends 
in the camp, or in his company, and here he lies forsaken 
by all except his dog. What a lesson Nature presents 
here, through the medium of an animal. What a strange 
being is man ! And how mysterious are his impress- 
sions ! I had, without emotion, ordered battles which 
were to decide the fate of the army ; I beheld, with 
tearless eyes, the execution of those operations by which 
numbers of my countrymen were sacrificed ; and here my 
feelings were roused by the bowlings of a dog ! Certainly, 
at that moment, I should have been easily moved by a 
suppliant enemy. I could very well imagine Achilles sur- 
rendering up the body of Hector at the sight of Priam's 
tears. ' ' 

In these terrible marches Napoleon endured the same 
privations as his men ; — baggage and staff appointments 
were unable to keep up with such rapid movements. 
He shared his bread with one of his privates who 
lived to remind him of this night when the Repub- 
lican general had become the Emperor of France. 
It was during Napoleon's progress through Bel- 
gium in 1804, while reviewing a division of the 
army that he was visited in one of the towns by a 


soldier of the fourth regiment of infantry who stepped 
forward and thus addressed him : ' ' General, in the year 
Five of the French Revolution, being in the valley of Bas- 
sano, I shared with you my ration of bread when you were 
very hungry . You cannot have forgotten the circum- 
stance. I request, in return, that you provide bread for 
my father who is worn with age and infirmity . I have 
received five wounds in the service and was made corporal 
and sergeant on the field of battle. I hope to be made a 
lieutenant on the first vacancy. ' ' Napoleon recollected 
the soldier and immediately acknowledged the reasonable- 
ness of both his demands, which were speedily complied 

After the most heroic resistance Wurmser again fled. 
Six thousand Austrians laid down their arms, and the 
commander with his fleeing forces took refuge about the 
middle of September in Mantua, whither they were pur- 
sued by Napoleon's cavalry. 

Wurmser was now strictly blockaded within the citadel 
of Mantua with sixteen thousand men. These, with ten 
thousand dispersed in the Tyrol, were all that remained 
of his army of 60,000 men with which he was to reconquer 
Italy. He had also lost seventy-five pieces of cannon, 
thirty generals and twenty-two stands of colors. Marmont, 
one of Napoleon's aids-de-camp, was sent with these 
latter trophies to the Directory at Paris. Perceiving that 
Wurmser now intended to avoid a general action Napoleon 
returned to Milan, leaving General Kilmaine to conduct 
the blockade. 

While at Milan, Napoleon had just mounted his horse 
one morning, when a dragoon, bearing important dis- 
patches, presented himself. 


The commander gave a verbal answer, and ordered the 
courier to take it back with all speed. 

" I have no horse," the man answered ; "I rode mine 
so hard that it fell dead at your palace gates. ' ' 

Napoleon alighted. "Take mine," he said. 

The man hesitated. 

' ' You think him too magnificently caparisoned and too 
fine an animal ;" said Napoleon. " Nothing is too good 
for a French soldier !" 

Again a call was made on Vienna to send a new army 
and a greater general to restore the Hapsburg dominion in 
Italy. In reply another powerful armament was dis- 
patched to the Italian frontier and this, the fourth cam- 
paign against Napoleon, was intrusted to the supreme 
command of Alvinzi, an ofiicer of high reputation. 

Field- Marshal Alvinzi was placed at the head of an 
army of forty-five thousand men to which he joined eigh- 
teen thousand under Davidowich in the Tyrol. His object 
was to raise the blockade of Mantua, release Wurmser and, 
with a force which would by the accession of the garrison 
of the latter amount to an arm)^ of eighty thousand men 
with which to oppose only thirty thousand. With these 
he expected to reconquer lyombardy. 

Three large armies, advancing with similar prospects, 
had already been destroyed by Napoleon ; a fourth now 
prepared to pour down upon him, under still more terrible 
circumstances. The battle of St. George and the strict 
blockade of Wurmser in Mantua took place in the middle 
of September. Alvinzi 's army commenced its march in 
the beginning of October. 

Napoleon instantly ordered Vaubois and Massena to 
advance to the attack of Davidowich, whose forces were 


collected in the Tyrol, before he could form a junction 
with Alvinzi. Both failed. Vaubois, after two days' 
fighting was conquered ; lost Trent and Galliano, and was 
forced to retreat. Massena in consequence had to effect a 
retreat without attempting an engagement, and Alvinzi 
approaching fast gained possession of all the country be- 
tween the Brenta and the Adige and the command of the 
Tyrol. The two Austrian generals might now have 
effected a junction, but they neglected their opportimity. 
Napoleon hastened to Verona, Alvinzi having taken the 
same route. 

It seemed likely that Austria, in this new campaign, 
was destined to recover her immense losses. Napoleon 
was now contending against an enemy vastly superior in 
numbers and most completely appointed. But twelve bat- 
talions had been sent to him from France to recruit his 
exhausted regiments, and nothing but the employment of 
the highest military skill could now save him from 

" The army " said he, in writing to the Directory, "so 
inferior in numbers, has been more weakened by the late 
engagements, while the promised reinforcements have not 
arrived. The heroes of Millessimo, lyodi, Castiglione,and 
Bassano, are dead or in the hospitals. Joubert, I^anusse, 
Victor, Ivannes, Chariot, Murat, Dupuis, Rampon, Me- 
nard, Chabrand, and Pigeon are wounded ; we are aban- 
doned at the extremity of Italy. Had I received the 103d, 
three thousand five hundred strong, I would have answered 
for everything. Whereas, in a few days, 40,000 men, per- 
haps, will not be sufficient to enable us to make head 
against the enemy. ' ' 


His men too, were becoming dispirited at the failure of 
the government to send reinforcements, and no longer 
fought with their accustomed vigor and enthusiasm. The 
retreating forces came before him with dejected looks. 
But the genius of Napoleon was not yet exhausted ; with 
him discouragement was not despair. He ordered Vaubois' 
division — which had abandoned Galliano — drawn up on 
the plain of Rivoli, and thus addressed them : " Soldiers, 
I am not satisfied with you : you have shown neither 
bravery, discipline, nor perseverance. No position could 
rally you : you abandoned yourselves to a panic ter- 
ror ; you suffered yourselves to be driven from 
situations where a handful of brave men might have 
stopped an army. Soldiers of the 29th and 85th, you are 
not French soldiers. Quartermaster-general, let it be in- 
scribed on their colors : ' They no longer belong to the 
Army of Italy !' " 

The effect of these words was electric. The veteran 
grenadiers who had braved the terrific charges at lyodi 
sobbed like children and broke their ranks to cluster round 
their commander to plead for one more trial. Several of 
the veteran grenadiers, who had deserved and obtained 
badges of distinction, called out from the ranks : "General ! 
we have been misrepresented ; place us in the van of the 
army and you shall then judge whether we do not belong 
to the Army of Italy. ' ' 

They were at last forgiven by their indignant com- 
mander, and when they were again arrayed against the 
enemy they quickly redeemed their lost reputation and 
gained new laurels. But a spirit of discontent pervaded the 
French army. "We cannot work miracles," said the sol- 
diers. ' 'We destroyed Beaulieu's great army, and then came 


Wurmser with a greater. We conquered and broke him 
to pieces, and then came Alvinzi more powerful than ever. 
When we have conquered him Austria will pour down on 
us a hundred thousand fresh soldiers and we shall leave 
our bones in Italy. ' ' 

Although much dispirited, Napoleon was by no 
means disposed to abandon his campaign ; to his soldiers 
he said by way of encouragement : ' ' We have but one 
more effort to make and Italy is ours. The enemy is no 
doubt superior to us in numbers, but not in valor. When 
he is beaten Mantua must fall, and we shall be masters of 
all ; our labors will be at an end, for not only Italy but a 
general peace is in Mantua. You talk of returning to the 
Alps, but you are no longer capable of doing so. From 
the dry and frozen bivouacs of those sterile rocks you 
could very well conquer the delicious plains of lyOmbardy ; 
but from the smiling flowery bivouacs of Italy you cannot 
return to Alpine snows. Only beat Alvinzi and I will 
answer for your future welfare." 

Ere long the French forces were once more ready for 
battle. Alvinzi had occupied the heights of Caldiero and 
by the middle of November threatened Verona. Massena 
attacked the heights but found them impregnable. The 
French were repulsed with considerable loss. Napoleon 
found it necessary to attempt taking the heights by other 
means in order to prevent the junction of Davidowich and 
Alvinzi. Pretending, therefore, to retreat on Mantua after 
his discomfiture, he returned in the night and placed him- 
self in the rear of Alvinzi' s army. When his columns 
advanced on Areola the enemy thought at first it was only 
a skirmish and that the main army of the French was in 
Verona. The position of Areola rendered any attack 


upon it so extremely hazardous that scarcely anyone 
would have conceived the idea of making the attempt. 
The village is surrounded by marshes intersected by small 
streams, by ditches and by three causeways or bridges, 
across which alone the marshes are passable. Areola and 
the bridge leading to it were defended by two battalions 
of Alvinzi's army, and two pieces of cannon which com- 
manded the bridge. The other two causeways were unpro- 

Napoleon ordered a division to charge the bridge of 
Areola at daybreak. The attempt seemed even to the 
intrepid Augereau to be courting death, but he was a true 
soldier and obeyed orders. 

On November 15 a column advanced on each of the 
three causeways. Augereau' s division occupied the 
bridge of Areola which was swept by the enemy's cannon 
and assailed in flank by their battalions. Even the chosen 
grenadiers, led by Augereau with a standard in his hand, 
faltered and fell back under the destructive fire, fleeing 
over the corpses of nearly half their comrades. It was 
a most critical situation, and one in which a false step or 
the loss of a few moments meant ruin. Napoleon, who 
knew that the moment was decisive, dashed at the head 
of the column, snatched a standard, and hurrying onwards 
planted the colors with his own hands on the bridge amidst 
a hail of balls from the enemy's artillery and musketry. 
As he did so he cried out : ' ' Soldiers ! are you no longer 
the brave warriors of I^odi ? Follow your general ! ' ' 

His soldiers rallied and rushed with him till they 
grappled with the Austrian division, but the sudden 
arrival of a fresh column of the enemy made it an impo£- 
sibility to maintain their ground. The French fell back. 


and Napoleon, being in the very midst of the fight, was 
himself seized by his faithful grenadiers who bore him 
away in their arms through smoke, the dead and dying, as 
they were driven backwards inch by inch with dreadful 
carnage. Mounting a horse the commander once more 
prepared to make a charge at the head of his heroic troops, 
when his steed became unmanageable and plunged head- 
long throwing its rider into a morass up to his waist. 

The Austrians were now between Napoleon and his 
baffled column. As the smoke rolled away the army at 
once perceived the critical position of their general. 
During this crisis Lannes pressed forward through the 
marsh and reached his commander as also did the gallant 
Muiron, the friend and aide-de-camp of Napoleon. 
Almost at the same moment a shot was fired at Napoleon. 
It was received by Muiron, who had interposed himself, 
and he died covering Napoleon's body with his own. 
But still the person of the commander remained in the 
utmost peril. 

The grenadiers now formed in an instant, and with the 
cry, "Forward, soldiers, to save your general !" threw 
themselves upon the enemy, rescued their ' ' Little Cor- 
poral ' ' from his critical position and overthrew the 
Austrian columns that defended the bridge. Napoleon 
was quickly at their head again, rallied the column, struck 
terror through the ranks of the enemy, and Areola was soon 
taken. Two other engagements followed at this point, in 
each of which the French were victorious, Massena pursuing 
the enemy until darkness compelled him to desist. The 
Austrians lost twelve thousand men killed, six thousand 
prisoners, eighteen pieces of cannon and four stands of 
colors. The loss of the French was less considerable in 


numbers than in the importance of the prominent indi- 
viduals who fell during those three days, when the 
generals acted as soldiers, continually fighting at the 
heads of their columns. The great art of Napoleon, on 
that occasion, he having but 13,000 to oppose 40,000 men, 
was to maintain the combat in the midst of a morass where 
the enemy could not deploy. Upon such a field of battle, 
only the heads of the columns could engage ; whereas, on 
a plain, the French army would in all probability have 
been surrounded. 

Napoleon said at St. Helena that he considered himself 
in the greatest danger at Areola. 

When too lateDavidowich made an advance upon Verona, 
but retreated quickly on hearing of Alvinzi's defeat at 
Areola. Wurmser, too, made a desperate sally and was 
repulsed. He still held out, however. The horses of the 
garrison had long since been killed and salted for use ; 
the men were reduced to half rations, and their numbers 
were being rapidly reduced by disease. 

This fourth attempt of Austria to conquer Napoleon 
ended, therefore, as did the previous ones, in failure. It 
was one of the most memorable campaigns in history, in 
the course of which all the resources of skilled warriors 
were exhibited, not in a contest of a few hours but a suc- 
cession of memorable battles. As yet, however, the 
young commander was but a temporary victor ; the weak- 
ness of the Army of Italy did not permit him to draw all 
the advantages he had promised himself from Areola. 
Alvinzi was now thoroughly beaten, his losses were very 
great, and like his predecessors he sent to Vienna for rein- 
forcements to continue his contest against Bonaparte, who 
had repaired to Verona which he fixed upon as the central 
point of operations. 


Once more the Austrian general's preparations were 
completed for a fresh campaign, and on January 7, 1797, 
at the head of sixty thousand soldiers, consisting of volun- 
teers from the best families in Vienna and battalions from 
the Army of the Rhine, Croats, Hungarians, Tyroleans, 
etc. , Alvinzi descended from the northern barriers of Italy 
to release the brave Wurmser from his prison at 
Mantua, and again attempt to " overwhelm the French 
invaders. ' ' A messenger dispatched to Wurmser from the 
imperial court was captured by the French, and dis- 
patches concealed in wax balls recovered. From these 
Napoleon learned the present designs, signed by the 
emperor's own hand, of the Austrian government : — 
Alvinzi was once more placed at the head of sixty thous- 
and men, and was again to march into Lombardy and to 
raise the siege of Mantua: Wurmser was directed to hold 
out to the. last extremity: If the army of Alvinzi could be 
reunited with the garrison, the destruction of the French 
seemed undoubted; if not, and if, in the course of hostili- 
ties, he found it best to abandon Mantua, he was directed 
to cut his way into Romagna and to take command of the 
papal troops, the pope having broken the treaty of Bologna, 
and raised an army of seven thousand men to act in con- 
cert with Wurmser, when he should be released from 

Again the Austrian army, — the fifth — was divided, one 
column under Alvinzi for the line of the Adige ; the other 
for the Bretna under General Pro vera, who was to join the 
marshal under the walls of Mantua. 

When Napoleon learned this at his headquarters at 
Verona he posted Joubert at Rivoli to dispute Alvinzi 's 
passage, and Augereau to watch the movements of Pro vera, 


knowing that witliin a few hours he could concentrate 
his own forces on either column. 

At sunset on the 13th of January Joubert's messenger 
brought the news that he had met Alvinzi and with 
difficulty held him in check through the day. Napoleon 
examined with the utmost attention the maps and descrip- 
tions of the places, the reports of the generals, and those 
of his spies and light troops and passed a part of the night 
in a state of uncertainty and indecision. At' length on 
receiving fresh reports he exclaimed : " It is clear — it is 
clear : to Rivoli !" and, quickly giving his orders to his 
aides assigning the troops to their different routes, he left 
a garrison at Verona and with General Massena and all 
the disposable troops he repaired to General Joubert. By 
one of his lightning marches he reached the heights of 
Rivoli two hours after midnight. Below in the valley five 
separate encampments of the Austrian army were visible 
in the moonlight. Napoleon quickly decided to force 
Alvinzi to battle before he was ready. Joubert, confounded 
by the display of Alvinzi 's gigantic force was in the very 
act of abandoning his position when the French com- 
mander checked his movement, and, bringing up more 
battalions, forced the enemy from a position they had 
seized on the first symptoms of the French retreat. 

From the eminence on which he stood Napoleon's keen 
eye soon penetrated the secretof Alvinzi 's weakness, — that 
his artillery had not yet arrived. To force him to accept 
battle, Napoleon took every possible means to conceal his 
own arrival and prolonged, by a series of petty manoeu- 
vres, the enemy's belief that they had to do with a mere 
outpost of the French. Alvinzi was fully deceived, and 
instead of advancing on some great aiid well-arranged 


system, suffered his several columns to endeavor to 
force the heights by insulated movements which the real 
strength of Napoleon easily enabled him to baflBe. Two 
field -pieces had been abandoned by their drivers and which 
were seized by the enemy, when an officer whose name is 
not recorded, advancing, cried out : "Fourteenth, will 
you let them take your artillery ?' ' Berthier, who had 
purposely suffered the enemy to approach, then opened a 
terrible fire, which leveled men and horses round the 
guns, and upon which the Austrians immediately fell back. 

A moment later the bravery of the enemy resulted in 
their nearly overthrowing the French on a point of pre- 
eminent importance, but Napoleon himself, galloping to 
the spot, roused by his voice and action the division of 
Massena who, having marched all night, had laid down 
to rest in the extreme of weariness. They started up at 
the commander's voice and the Austrian column was 
speedily repulsed. 

The French artillery was soon in position, while that of 
the Austrians, as Napoleon had guessed, had not yet come 
up, and this circumstance decided the fortune of the day. 
The batteries of the French made havoc of the broken 
columns ; the cavalry made repeated charges ; four out of 
the 'five divisions were thus broken and utterly routed. 
The fifth now made its appearance in the rear of the 
French. It had been sent round to outflank Napoleon 
and take higher ground in his rear according to the orders 
of the Austrian general before the action. When lyusig- 
nan's division achieved its destined object it did so, — not 
to complete the misery of a routed, but to swell the prey 
of a victorious, enemy. Instead of cutting off the retreat 
of Joubert,I^usignan found himself insulated from Alvinzi 


and forced to lay down his arms to Bonaparte. Had this 
movement been made a httle sooner it might have turned 
the fortune of the day : as it was, the I^rench soldiers 
only exclaimed: "Here come further supplies to our 
market ! ' ' and very soon the Austrians, exposed to a 
heavy fire from the artillery, were forced to surrender. 

"Here was a good plan, " said Napoleon, " but these 
Austrians are not apt to calculate the value of minutes. ' ' 

Had lyusignan gained the rear of the French an hour 
earlier, while the contest was still hot in front of the 
heights of Rivoli, he might have aided in the complete 
overthrow of Napoleon instead of being defeated on one 
of the brightest days in the young commander's career. 

In the course of the day Bonaparte had remained in the 
hottest of the fight, which lasted during twelve hours, and 
had three horses shot under him, and although much 
fatigued, hardly waited to see lyUsignan surrender ere he set 
off with reinforcements to the lyower Adige to prevent 
Wurmser from either housing Provera or joining him in 
the open field and so effect the escape of his own formid- 
able garrison. The flying troops of Alvinzi were left to 
the care of Massena, Murat and Joubert. 

Marching all day and the next night Napoleon reached 
the vicinity of Mantua late on the 1 5th. He found the 
enemy strongly posted and Serrurier's position highly 
critical. A regiment of Provera' s hussars had but a few 
hours before established themselves in the suburb of St. 
George. This Austrian corps had been clothed in white 
cloaks resembling those of a well-known French regiment 
of hussars, and advancing towards the gate would cer- 
tainly have been admitted as friends but for the sagacity 
of an old sergeant, who could not help fancying that the 


white cloaks had too much of the gloss of novelty about 
them to have stood the wear and tear of three Bonapartean 
campaigns. He instantly closed the barriers and warned 
a drummer who was near him of the danger. These two 
gave the alarm and the guns of the blockading force were 
instantly turned upon their pretended friends who were 
forced to retire. 

Napoleon himself passed the night in walking the out- 
posts, so great was his anxiety. At one of these he found 
a grenadier sentinel asleep from exhaustion and taking 
his gun, without waking him, performed a sentinel's duty 
in his place for about half an hour. When the man, 
starting from his slumbers, perceived with terror and des- 
pair the countenance and occupation of his general, he fell 
on his knees before him. ' ' My friend, ' ' said Napoleon 
mildly, ' ' here is your musket. You had fought hard and 
marched long and your exhaustion is excusable ; but a 
moment's inattention might at present ruin the whole 
arm}^ I happened to be awake and have held your post 
for you. You will be more careful another time !" 

Such acts of magnanimity endeared Napoleon to his 
soldiers, and, while he rarely relaxed in his military dis- 
cipline, he early acquired the devotion of his men who 
told and retold anecdotes of his doings in camp and on 
the battlefield, and as the stories spread from column to 
column his followers came to regard him with a veneration 
that few older commanders have been able to instill in 
their men. Another anecdote is related of Bonaparte, 
when upon the point of commencing one of his great 
battles in Italy. As he was disposing his troops in 
order of attack, a light dragoon stepping from the ranks, 
requested of the commander a few minutes private conver- 


sation to whicli Napoleon acquiesced, when the soldier 
thus addressed him : ' ' General, if you will proceed to 
adopt such and such measures, the enemy must be 
defeated. ' ' 

"Wretched man," exclaimed the commander, "hold 
your tongue ; you will surely not betray my secret ' ' at the 
same time placing his hand before the mouth of the 

The soldier in question was possessed of an inherent 
military capacity and appreciated every arrangement nec- 
essary to insure victory. The battle terminating in favor 
of Napoleon, he issued orders that the poor fellow should 
be conducted to his presence ; but all search for him 
proved fruitless, he was nowhere to be found : a bullet 
had no doubt terminated his military career. 

The next morning there ensued a hot skirmish, recorded 
as the battle of St. George. The tumult a.nd slaughter 
were dreadful and Provera with his whole force were com- 
pelled to lay down their arms. Wurmser, who had 
hazarded a sortie from Mantua to join his countrymen, 
was glad to make his way back again, and retire within 
the old walls, in consequence of a desperate assault headed 
by Napoleon in person, who threw himself between 
Wurmser and Provera and beat them completely one 
after the other. Provera now found himself cut off hope- 
lessly from Alvinzi and surrounded by the French ; he 
was disheartened and defeated. He and his five thous- 
and men laid down their arms on the i6th of January, 
and various bodies of the Austrian force scattered over 
the country followed their example. This latter engage- 
ment was called the battle of I^a Favorita from the name 
of a country house near which it was fought. The 75th 


at this battle refused cartridges : ' ' With such enemies as 
we have before us," said they, " we must only use the 
bayonet. ' ' 

The battles of Rivoli and La Favorita had disabled 
Alvinzi from continuing the campaign . Thus had the 
magnificent army of Austria ceased to exist in three days. 

Such was the prevailing terror of the enemy at this time 
that in one instance Rene, a young officer keeping guard 
of a position with about one hundred and fifty men, sud- 
denly encountered and took prisoners a small body of Aus- 
trians . On advancing to reconnoitre, he found himself in 
front of a body, of eighteen hundred more, whom a turn in 
the road had concealed from his sight. '%ay down your 
arms ! ' ' said the Austrian commandant. Rene answered 
with boldness, "Do you lay down your arms! I have 
destroyed your advance guard ; — ground j^our arms, or 
no quarter ! " The French soldiers joined in the cry, and 
the whole body of the astonished Austrians absolutely 
laid down their arms to a party, which they found to their 
exasperation when too late, was in numbers one twelfth 
of their own, 

Wurmser was now thoroughly disheartened in not 
receiving relief, and as his provisions were by this 
time exhausted, found himself at length in dire 
straits. Napoleon sent him word of the rout and 
dispersion of the Austrian army and summoned him to 
surrender. The old soldier proudly replied that "he had 
provisions for a year," but a few days later he sent his 
aide-de-camp, Klenau to the headquarters of Serrurier 
with an offer of capitulation. General Serrurier, as com- 
mander of the blockade, received the bearer of Wurmser's 


message in which he stated that he was ' ' still in a condition 
to hold out considerably longer, unless honorable terms 
were granted. " 

Napoleon, who had been seated in a corner of his tent 
wrapped in his cloak, now came forward and addressed 
himself to the Austrian envoy, who had no suspicion in 
whose presence he had been speaking, and taking his pen, 
wrote down marginal answers to the conditions proposed 
by Wurmser. He granted terms more favorable than 
might have been exacted in the extremity to which 
the veteran was reduced. ' 'These, ' ' said he, " are the con- 
ditions to which your general's bravery entitles him if he 
opens his gates tomorrow. He may have them to-day ; 
a week, a month hence, he shall have no worse : he may 
hold out to his last morsel of bread. Meantime tell him 
that General Bonaparte is about to set out for Rome. ' ' 

The envoy now recognized Napoleon, and on reading 
the paper perceived that the proposed terms were more 
liberal than he had dared to hope for ; he then owned that 
only three days' provisions remained in Mantua. 

The capitulation was forthwith signed and on the 2d of 
February, 1797, Wurmser and his garrison of 13,000 men 
marched out of Mantua : 7,000 were lying in the hospi- 
tals. When the aged chief was by the fortunes of war to 
surrender his sword, he found only Serrurier ready to 
receive it. Napoleon was unwilling to be a witness to 
the humiliation of the distinguished veteran, and had 
left the place before the surrender, thus sparing the con- 
quered veteran the mortification of giving up his sword 
to so youthful a commander. This delicate generosity 
on the part of the French general was never forgotten by 


The terms of surrender agreed to by Bonaparte were 
not readily accepted by the French Directory, who 
urged him to far different conduct. "I have granted 
the Austrian, " he wrote in repl}^, "such terms as were, in 
my judgment, due to a brave and honorable foe, and to 
the dignity of the French nation. ' ' The loss of the Aus- 
trians at Mantua amounted altogether to not less than 
30,000 men, besides innumerable military stores and up- 
wards of 500 brass cannon. 

The conquerer sent Augereau to Paris with the sixty 
captured standards of Austria, and his arrival at the cap- 
ital was celebrated as a national festival. Thus it was 
that Napoleon, with a total force at the utmost, of 65,000 
men, conquered, in their own country, and under the eye 
and succoring hand of their own government, five succes- 
sive armies, amounting, in all, to ^tpwa7'ds of joo^ooo 
well-appointed well-provisioned soldiers, under old and 
experienced commanders of approved courage. Such was 
the conquest of lyombardy . 

Some time later Wurmser sent Napoleon a letter by 
special messenger acknowledging the generosity and deli- 
cacy of conduct of the French commander at Mantua, and 
at the same time apprising him by his aide-de-camp of a 
conspiracy to poison him in the dominions of the pope, 
with whom he was about to wage war. 

A few brief engagements with papal troops followed the 
capitulation of Wurmser, the pope fearing that the con- 
queror would enter the " Bternal City j" but Napoleon, 
by a rapid movement, threw his infantry across the river 
Senio, where the enemy was encamped, and met with but a 
brief resistance. Shortly afterwards the pope entered into 
negotiations with the French commander, and the treaty 


of Tolentino followed on the i3tli of February, 1797, con- 
ceding to the French one hundred of the finest works of 
art, several castles and legations, and about two millions 
of dollars. 

Napoleon was now master of all Northern. Italy with 
the exception of the territories of Venice, which announced 
that it had no desire but to preserve a perfect neutrality. 

More than a month had now elapsed since Alvinzi's 
defeat at Rivoli ; in nine days the war with the pope had 
reached its close ; and, having left some garrisons in the 
town on the Adige to watch the neutrality of Venice, 
Napoleon hastened to carry the war into the hereditary 
dominions of the Austrian Emperor, Twenty thousand 
fresh troops had joined his victorious standard from 
France, and at the head of perhaps a larger force than he 
had ever before mustered, he proceeded towards the Tyrol 
where, according to his information, the main army of 
Austria, recruited once more to its original strength, was 
preparing to open a sixth campaign under the orders, — 
not of Alvinzi, but of a general young like himself, and 
hitherto eminently successful, the Archduke Charles, who 
had defeated the courage and skill of Jourdan and Moreau 
on the Rhine, and was now to be opposed to Napoleon. 

The story of this sixth campaign is but a repetition of 
the five that preceded it. The archduke, a young prince 
of high talents, and upon whom the last hopes of the Aus- 
trianEmpire reposed, compelled by the council of Vienna 
to execute a plan he had the discrimination to condemn, 
was destined to lead but a short campaign, although he had 
the best army Austria could enroll. This army once more 
proceeded to begin operations on a double basis, and 
Napoleon permitted him to assume the ofiensive. 


On the 9tli of March ,1797, the French commander' s head- 
quarters were fixed at Bassano, and he proceeded vigorously 
on his career of conquest. He issued one of his stirring 
proclamations, in which he told his soldiers that a grand 
destiny was still reserved for them, and then advanced 
to attack the archduke. He found the latter posted upon 
the plains bordering on the banks of the river Tagliamento 
in front of the rugged Carinthian mountains which guard 
the passage in that quarter from Italy to Germany. 
Detaching Massena with a division of cavalry to effect the 
passage of the Piave where the Austrian division of 
lyusignan was posted, Napoleon determined to charge the 
archduke in front. Massena was successful in driving 
I/Usignan before him as far as Belluno, where he, with a 
rear guard of 500, surrendered , and thus turned the Aus- 
trian flank. 

On the 1 6th of March, the two armies headed by Na- 
poleon, and the Archduke Charles in person, were drawn 
up on opposite sides of the» Tagliamento, face to face. 
Bonaparte then attempted to effect the passage of the river, 
but after a formal display of his forces, which was met by 
similar demonstrations on the Austrian side of the river, 
he suddenly broke up his line, retreated, and took up his 
bivouac. The archduke concluded that, as the French 
had been marching all the night before, their leader 
wished to defer the battle until another day, and in like 
manner withdrew to his encampment. About two hours 
later Napoleon rushed with his whole army, who had 
merely laid down in ranks, upon the margin of the Tag- 
liamento, — no longer adequately guarded, — and had 
forded the stream ere the Austrian line of battle could be 
formed. In the passage of the Tagliamento Napoleon 


was so nearly drowned, by the submersion of his carriage, 
that he for some moments gave up all thoughts of being 

This affair was the first in which the division of Berna- 
dotte had borne a part. He arrived upon the borders of 
the Tagliamento at the very moment of the combat : 
throwing himself into the river he exclaimed to his fol- 
lowers , ' 'Think that you are the Army of the Rhine, and 
that the Army of Italy is looking on you !" 

In the action which followed the troops of the archduke 
displayed much gallantry, and charged the French repeat- 
edly with the greatest courage, but every effort to dis- 
lodge Napoleon failed ; at length retreat was deemed 
necessary, and eight pieces of cannon and some provisions 
were left behind, the French following in close pursuit. 

Adjutant General Kellerman distinguished himself at 
the head of the French cavalry and received many 
wounds in executing the manoeuvres that decided the suc- 
cess of the day ; he was subsequently charged with carry- 
ing the trophies taken from the enemy to France. 

The pursuers stormed Gradisca, where they made 6,000 
prisoners ; and the archduke continuing his retreat, 
occupied in the course of a few days Trieste, Fiume and 
every stronghold in Carinthia. In the course of a cam- 
paign of twenty daj^s the Austrians fought Bonaparte 
ten times ; but the overthrow on the Tagliamento was 
never recovered . Their army was melting away like the 
snows of the Tryol. 

At last the Austrian leader decided to reach Vienna by 
forced marches, thereto gather round him whatever force 
the loyalty of his nation could muster, and make a last 
stand beneath the walls of the capital. The archduke 


expected to reap great advantage from enticing the 
French army into the heart of Austria, where, divided by 
many wide provinces and mighty mountains and rivers 
from France, and with Italy once more in arms behind 
them, he hoped to cut off their source of supphes and 
compel them to retreat from a greatly reinforced imperial 

From the period of the opening of the campaign the 
archduke had lost nearly 20,000 men made prisoners, so 
that the Austrians could make no stand except upon the 
mountains in the neighborhood of the Capital. 

Vienna, however, was terror-stricken on hearing that 
Napoleon who was only sixty leagues distant, had stormed 
the passes of the Julian Alps , The imperial family — 
embracing little Marie Louise, then scarcely six years 
old, afterwards Napoleon's wife — fled with their crown 
jewels and treasures into Hungary ; the middle classes 
became clamorous for a termination of the six years' war, 
and the archduke was ordered to avail himself of the first 
pretense which circumstances might afford for the open- 
ing of a negotiation. Napoleon wrote to the archduke 
suggesting peace : "While brave soldiers carry on war 
they wish for peace;" he said, "Has not the war 
already lasted six years? Have we not killed men 
enough, and inflicted sufficient sufferings on the human 
race ? Europe has laid down the arms she took up against 
the French Republic. Your nation alone perseveres ; yet 
blood is to flow more copiously than ever. Whatever be 
the issue, we shall kill some thousands of men on both 
sides, and after all we must come to an understanding, 
since all things have an end, not excepting vindictive 
passions. * * * For my part, general, if the over- 


ture I have the honor to make to you should only save 
the life of a single man, I should feel more proud of the 
civic crown, I should think I thereby merited, than 
of all the melancholy glory that the most distinguished 
military successes can afford." 

The archduke replied within two hours after the receipt 
of the letter and a series of negotiations followed, which 
with Napoleon's rapid advance on Vienna, finally brought 
about the provisional treaty of lyeoben, signed April i8, 
1797. Napoleon, without waiting for full power from the 
Directory to complete the treaty, took the responsibility 
upon himself and signed it on the part of France on the 
19th of April. The Austrian plenipotentiaries had set 
down as a primary concession that " thel^mperor acknow- 
ledged the French Republic. ' ' 

"Strike that out !" said Napoleon ; " the Republic is 
like the sun that shines by its own light ; none but the 
blind can fail to see it. We are our own masters and 
shall estabhsh any government we prefer. " "If the 
French people should one da}^ wish to create a monarchy, ' ' 
he afterwards remarked, ' ' the Emperor might object that 
he had recognized a Republic." 

This treaty was followed by a complete surrender 
on the part of the Venetian Senate which had violated its 
pledges of neutrality, and a democratic government was 
formed, provisionally, on the model of France. Venice 
consented to surrender to the victor large territories on 
the mainland of Italy ; five ships of war, ^600,000 in gold 
and as much more in naval stores, twenty of her best 
works of art and 500 ancient manuscripts. Napoleon 
took possession of the city, and the history of the Venetian 
Republic was ended. In their last agony the Venetian 


Senate made a vain attempt to bribe Napoleon with a 
purse of seven millions of francs for more favorable terms, 
reminding him of the proverbial ingratitude of all popular 
governments and of the slight attention which the French 
Directory had hitherto paid to his personal interests. 
" That is all true enough," he replied, "but I will not 
place myself in the power of this duke." To a larger 
tender on the part of Austria he replied : "If greatness or 
richness is to be mine, it must come from France." 

Among the works of art sent by Napoleon to Paris was 
the celebrated picture of St. Jerome from the Duke of 
Parma's gallery. The duke, to save this treasure, offered 
Napoleon two hundred thousand dollars, which the con- 
queror refused to take, saying : ' ' The sum which he offers 
us will soon be spent ; but the possession of such a mas- 
terpiece at Paris will adorn that capital for ages, and give 
birth to similar exertions of genius. ' ' 

The fall of Venice gave Napoleon the means of bringing 
his treaty with Austria to a more satisfactory conclusion 
than had been indicated in the preliminaries of Leoben. 
After settling the affairs of Venice and establishing the 
new lyigurian Republic he took up his residence at the 
palace of Montibello, near Milan, with Josephine, whom 
he had not seen since his departure from France a year 
before. The final settlement with Austria's commissioners 
was purposely delayed by thatEmpire,it being the universal 
belief that the government of France was approaching a 
new crisis, and Austria hoped from such an event to derive 
considerable advantage. Napoleon was becoming weary 
of the protracted negotiations and threats of the Austrian 
ambassadors .One day in the latter' s chamber, he suddenly 
changed his demeanor. ' ' You refuse to accept our ulti- 


matum," said he, taking in his hands a beautiful vase of 
porcelain, which stood on the mantelpiece near him. The 
Austrian bowed. "It is well," said Napoleon, "the 
truce is broken, war is declared, but mark me, — within 
three months I shall shatter Austria as I now shatter this 
brittle affair!" So saying he dashed the fragile piece 
furiously to the floor, breaking it into a thousand pieces, 
and left the room. The ambassador followed him, and 
finding him preparing to march on Vienna, made sub- 
missions which induced him to once more resume negoti- 
ations, the result of which was the treaty of Campo-Formio, 
so called from the humble village at which it was signed 
on the 17th of October, 1797. 

Bourienne relates that while Napoleon was occupied 
with the organization of Venice, Genoa and Milan, he 
used to complain of the want of meri. "Good God!" 
said he, ' 'how rare men are ! There are eighteen millions 
in Italy and I have with difficulty found two real ones, — 
Dandolo and Lelzi." These two actual "men" were 
immediately employed in important services, and justified 
his estimation of them. 

It was from the palace of Montibello, five leagues from 
Milan, that Napoleon wrote to the Directory : ' ' From these 
different points (the islands of the Mediterranean, which 
he proposed to seize) we can command that sea, keep an 
eye on the Ottoman Empire, which is crumbling to 
pieces, and we can render the supremacy of the ocean 
almost useless to Great Britian. Let us take possession oj 
Egypt, which lies on the road to India, and there we can 
found one of the mightiest colonies in the world. It is 
in Egypt we must make war on England. ' ' 

To perfect the treaty with Austria Napoleon received 
orders from the French Directory to appear at a congress 


at Rastadt, all the German powers being summoned to meet 
there for that purpose. He took an affecting leave 01 his 
soldiers, in which he said in closing : ' 'Soldiers, when you 
talk of the princes you have conquered, of the nations you 
have set free, and the battles you have fought in two 
campaigns, say : 'In the next two we shall do still more. ' ' ' 
He then proceeded by way of Switzerland, carrying with 
him the unbounded love and devotion of one of the finest 
armies that the world had ever seen. 

A person who saw Napoleon at this time described his 
impressions of him in the following letter, which appeared 
in one of the Paris journals in December 1797 : "With 
lively interest and extreme attention, I have observed this 
extraordinary man, who has performed such great deeds, 
and about whom there is something which seems to indicate 
that his career is not yet closed. I found him very like 
his portraits — little, thin, pale, with an air of fatigue, 
but not of ill-health, as has been reported of him. He 
appears to me to listen with more abstraction than inter- 
est, and that he was more occupied with what he was 
thinking of than with what was said to him. There is a 
great intelligence in his countenance, along with which 
may be marked an air of habitual meditation which 
reveals nothing of what is passing within. In that think- 
ing head, in that bold mind, it is impossible not to believe 
that some daring designs are engendering which will have 
their infinence on the destinies of Etirope !^^ 

"My extreme youth when I took command of the Army of 
Italy, ' ' Napoleon remarked afterwards, ' ' made it necessary 
for me to evince great reserve of manners and the utmost 
severity of morals . This was indispensable to enable me to 
sustain authority over men so greatly superior in age and 


experience. I pursued a line of conduct in the highest 
degree irreproachable and exemplary. In spotless moral- 
ity I was a Cato and must have appeared such to all, 
My supremacy could be retained only by proving myself 
a better man than any other man in the army. Had I 
yielded to human weakness I should have lost my power. ' ' 

At the first interview between Napoleon and the veteran 
generals whom he was to command, Rampon undertook 
to give the young commander some advice. Napoleon 
who was impatient of advice, exclaimed: "Gentlemen, 
the art of war is in its infancy. The time has passed in 
which enemies are mutually to appoint the place of com- 
bat, advance hat in hand and say : ^Gentlemen will y oil 
have the goodness to fire ! ' We must cut the enemy to 
pieces, precipitate ourselves like a torrent upon their bat- 
talions and grind them to powder. Experienced generals 
conduct the troops opposed to us . So much the better ! 
Their experience will not avail them against me. Mark 
my words, they will soon burn their books on tactics and 
know not what to do." 

Arriving at Rastadt Napoleon found that the multi- 
plicity of details to be arranged was likely to require a long 
stay, and as his personal relations with the Directory were 
of a doubtful kind, he abandoned the conduct of the diplo- 
matic business to his colleagues and reached Paris after a 
triumphal march, on the 20th of November, 1797. Dur- 
ing his absence he had been the salvation of France, and 
his arrival created a great sensation in the capital. He 
was hailed with the most rapturous applause by the people, 
the streets through which he was expected to pass were 
thronged, and wherever he was seen the air was filled with 
shouts of, " Long live the General of the Army of Italy !" 



On the 2nd of October, 1797, during Napoleon's absence 
in Italy, the Directory announced to the French people its 
intention of carrying the war with England into England 
itself. The immediate organization of a great invading 
army was therefore ordered, and ' ' Citizen General Bona- 
parte, ' ' the Conqueror of Italy, was designated to command 
the forces. 

It was some months before this decision was acted upon, 
however, and in the meantime Napoleon lived quietly in 
a small, modest house in the Rue Chantereine, which he 
had occupied before he set out for Italy. Shortly after 
his return, on going home one evening, he was surprised 
to find workmen engaged in changing the sign bearing 
the name of the street to " Rue de la Victoire," in com- 
memoration of his Italian campaign. He seemed to 
avoid as much as possible at this time the honors of popu- 
lar distinction and applause that the people heaped upon 
him. One morning he sent his secretary to a theatre 
manager to ask him to give that evening two very popu- 
lar pieces, " if such a thing were possible." 

" Nothing is impossible for General Bonaparte," replied 
the courtly manager ; ' ' the Conqueror of Italy has long 
ago erased that word from the dictionary !" 

This flattering answer afforded Napoleon a hearty laugh. 
He went to the performance and although endeavoring to 
maintain his usual privacy, was discovered and loudly 
called upon to come forward. The honor which he 
esteemed most was his nomination as a member of the 

8 107 


Institute. He frequently attended its meetings and was 
also fond of appearing in the costume worn by the mem- 

When congratulated by Bourrienne on some noisy dem- 
onstration of popular favor, he answered in the words of 
Cromwell ; ' ' Bah ! they would crowd as eagerly about 
me if I were on my way to the scaffold !" 

Wherever he went he was still the Bonaparte of lyodi, 
Areola and Rivoli. 

Meanwhile the government gave him no adequate 
reward for his important services in Italy. He had not 
when he returned to France, three hundred thousand 
francs in his possession, though he had transmitted fifty 
millions to the State. " I might easily," he said to Las 
Casas, ' ' have brought back ten or twelve millions ; I 
never made out any accounts, nor was I ever asked for 
any. ' ' On the eve of his departure for Egypt he became 
possessed of Malmaison and there deposited nearly all 
his property. He purchased it in the name of his wife, 
older than himself, and consequently, in case of his sur- 
viving her, he must have forfeited all right to the same. 
The fact, as stated by himself, was, that he never had a 
taste or desire for the acquirement of riches. 

He willingly accepted the new appointment now pressed 
upon him by the government, who seemed anxious that 
he should not remain in Paris to take part in the civil 
business of the State. In this latter direction he had no 
desire for continued service. In Napoleon's own lan- 
guage, " the pear was not yet ripe," and, like Caesar, he 
would have preferred being first in a village to being 
second in Rome. The first scheme of the French Directory 
was to make a descent upon England and to place Napoleon 


at tlie head of the invading army, but their counsels con- 
tinually fluctuated between this project and the Egyptian 
expedition. Napoleon said to Bourrienne on the 29th of 
January: "Bourrienne,! shall remain 'here no longer; 
they (the Directory) do not want me ; there is no good to 
be done ; they will not listen to me. I see, if I loiter here, 
I am done for quickly. Here everything grows flat ; my 
glory is already on the wane. This little Europe of yours 
cannot supply the demand. "We must move to the East. 
All great reputations come from that quarter. But I will 
first take a turn round the coast to assure myself what can 
be done. If the success of a descent upon England appears 
doubtful, as I fear, the army of England shall become 
the army of the East, and I am off for Egypt. ' ' He at 
length resolved to bring the question of the invasion to a 
decision by a personal survey of the coast opposite Eng- 
land. While there he busied himself for a time in sug- 
gesting improvements in fortifications and in selecting the 
best points for embarking an invading force. Many local 
improvements of great importance, long afterwards 
effected, were first suggested by him at this period ; but 
the time had not come for invading England. 

Napoleon had suggested to Talleyrand, minister of for- 
eign affairs, some months before, the propriety of making 
an effort against England in another quarter of the globe ; 
i. e., of seizing Malta, pfoceeding to Egypt, and therein 
gaining at once a territory capable of supplying to France 
the loss of her West Indian colonies, and the means of 
annoying Great Britain in her Indian trade and empire. 

The East presented to him a field of conquest and glory, 
and to this he now again recurred. "Europe is but a 
mole hill," he said ; " All the great glories have come 


from Asia where there are six hundred millions of men." 
He soon returned to Paris and made his views known 
to the Directory, declaring that an invasion of England 
was a wild chimera. To Bourrienne, his school compan- 
ion, who asked him concerning his contemplated invasion 
after he had been on the coast a week he said : ' 'The 
risk is- too great ; I sha'n't venture it. I don't want to 
trifle with the fate of France." 

The temptation of the Directory was great, and as it 
would find employment for Napoleon at a distance from 
France, the Egyptian expedition was finally determined 
upon; but kept a great secret. 

While the attention of Great Britian was now riveted 
on the coast, it was on the borders of the Mediterranean 
that his ships and the troops really destined for action, 
were assembling. Everyone wished to accompany Napo- 
leon to the East — civilians, scholars, engineers, artists, 
all wished to make the journey. Napoleon selected and 
equipped the army, raised money and collected ships. 
He was employed night and day in the organization of 
the armament which was to be under his command abso- 

In April and May 1798 the various squadrons of the 
French fleet were assembled at Toulon, and everything 
was soon in readiness. The main body was assembled 
at Toulon but the embarkmeiit was to take place at 
Civita Vecchia. When asked if he should remain long 
in Egypt, Napoleon replied: "A few months, or six 
years; it all depends upon circumstances." 

When all was in readiness Bonaparte called his vast 
army together and in sight of the ships which were to carry 
them from the shores of France, said to his followers : 


"Rome fought Carthage on sea as well as on the land ; 
England is the Carthage of France, I have come to lead 
you, in the name of the Divinity of lyiberty, across mighty 
seas, and into distant regions, where your valor may 
achieve such life and glory as will never await you 
beneath the cold skies of the West. Prepare yourselves, 
soldiers, to embark under the tri-color for achievements 
far more glorious than you have won for your country 
on the blushing plains of Italy. ' ' 

He agreed to give each soldier seven acres of land, and 
as his promises had not hitherto been violated, the sol- 
diers heard him with joy, and prepared to obey him with 
alacrity. They answered his address with loud cheers 
and cries of, 'Xong live the Republic!" The English 
government vigilantly observed the preparations that 
were going on, and kept a fleet in the Mediterranean under 
the command of Nelson. It was highly important that 
the French squadron should sail without delay, in order 
to avoid the risk of being discovered by the English 
cruisers, but contrary winds detained it for ten days. 
This interval was employed by NapoleorL in attention to 
the minutest details connected with the finely appointed 
force under his command. 

■On the evening of the 19th of May, 1798, fortune 
favored him, and the troops were all embarked, while the 
English fleet, under Nelson, "the Neptune of the Seas," 
was compelled to go into port to repair ships disabled in 
a violent gale. The French fleet, which was supplied 
with water for a month, and with food for two months, 
carried about 40,000 men of all sorts, and ten thousand 
sailors. In the army were many veteran soldiers, 
selected from the Army of Italy and commanded by the 


first generals of France. Klleber, Desaix, Bertlder, Reg- 
nier, Murat, I^annes, Andreossi, Junot, Menou, and Bel- 
liard all served in this campaign. 

Josephine had accompanied her husband to Toulon, and 
remained with him to the last moment ; their farewell was 
most affecting. As the last of the French troops stepped 
on board, the sun rose with great brilliancy on the mighty 
armament — one of those dazzling suns which the soldiers 
often referred to with delight as " the suns of Napoleon," 
and sails were immediately set for the East. 

On the 8th of June the convoys from Italy joined the 
squadron out at sea ; on the loth the whole fleet was 
assembled before Malta. The first object of Napoleon 
was to take possession of that island. He had already 
secured a secret party among the knights, and a very slight 
demonstration of hostilities spread consternation among 
them and they opened their gates to the French without 
delay. Nearly all the knights entered the ranks of the 
French arm}^ As the French troops passed through the 
almost impregnable fortifications General Caffarelli dryly 
remarked to Napoleon that it was fortunate there was 
some one to open the gates for them ; had there been no 
garrison at all, it would have been terrible hard work. 

lycaving a sufficient garrison in Malta the French 
squadron was again under sail on the i6th. While the 
officers and savants devoted much time to the discussion 
of military and scientific topics the great object of excite- 
ment and solicitude was to elude the English fleet. The 
French vessels were encumbered with civil and military 
baggage, provisions, stores, etc., and densely crowded 
with troops. Napoleon was anxious to avoid such an 
encounter : ' ' God grant that we may pass the English 


without meeting them," he remarked to Admiral Brueyes. 

Nelson was now in full pursuit. At Naples he heard of 
their landing at Malta and that their destination was 
Egypt. He arrived at Malta just after they had left the 
island and missed overtaking them by an accident. Dur- 
ing a hazy night, on which they lay off Candia, the French 
were alarmed by the report of guns on their starboard, 
and it afterwards proved that those were signals between 
the ships of Nelson's fleet, so close were the two hostile 
squadrons to each other without being aware of it. Napo- 
leon received positive information of this proximity the 
following morning and ordered Brueyes to steer at once 
for Cape Aza, about twenty-five leagues distant from 
Alexandria. This precaution foiled Nelson who crowded 
sail for Alexandria, 

Napoleon finally reached his destination on the first of 
July undisturbed, the tops of the minarets of Alexandria 
announcing that his point was gained. As he was recon- 
noitring the coast at the very moment that danger seemed 
over a strange sail appeared on the verge of the horizon : 
" Fortune ! " exclaimed he, " I ask but six hours more, 
— wilt thou refuse them ?' ' The vessel proved not to be 
English, but French and the disembarkation, near a struc- 
ture called the tower of Marabout, three leagues to the 
eastward of Alexandria, immediately took place in spite 
of a violent gale and a tremendous surf. Egypt was then 
nominally a province of the Porte, and governed by a 
Turkish Pasha who was at peace with France. - 

Bonaparte met with no opposition in landing, and by 
3 o'clock in the morning commenced his march upon 
Alexandria with three divisions of his army. He had 
little dif&culty in entering Alexandria, although he met 


with resistance and General Kleber, who commrinded. the 
attack, was wounded. The French lost about two hun- 
dred men. 

Bonaparte exacted of his troops, under penalty of death, 
consideration of all the laws and religion of the country, 
and to the people of Egypt he addressed a proclamation 
in which he said : ' ' They will tell you that I come to 
destroy your religion ; believe them not : I come to restore 
your rights, to punish the usurpers, and I respect, more 
than the Mamelukes ever did, God, his Prophet and the 
Koran. * * >i< Thrice happy they who shall be with 
us ! Woe unto them that take up arms for the Mame- 
lukes ! — they shall perish. ' ' 

The Mamelukes were considered by Napoleon to be, 
individually, the finest cavalry in the world. They rode 
the noblest horses of Arabia, and were armed with the 
best weapons which the world could produce : carbines, 
pistols, etc., from England, and sabres of the steel of 
Damascus. Their skill in horsemanship was equal to their 
fiery valor. With that cavalry and the French infantry, 
Bonaparte said it would be easy to conquer the world. 

Napoleon himself remained some days in Alexandria 
and left on the 7th of July, leaving Kleber in command, 
being anxious to force the Mamelukes to an encounter 
with the least possible delay. General Desaix was sent 
forward with 4500 men to Beda. The commission of 
learned men remained at Alexandria, until Napoleon 
should reach Cairo, with the exception of Monge and 
BerthoUett who accompanied the commander. 

The march over the burning sands of the desert 
brought extreme misery and unheard-of sufferings to the 
troops ; the air was full of pestiferous insects, the glare 


of the sand weakened the men's eyes, and water was scarce 
and bad. Even the gallant spirits of Murat and I^annes 
could not sustain themselves, and they trampled their bril- 
liant cockades in the sand in a fit of rage in the presence 
of the troops. The common soldiers asked, with sarcas- 
tic or angry murmurs, if it was here the general designed 
to give them.their "seven acres of land." "The rogue" 
said they, " he might, with safety, have promised us as 
much as we pleased ; we should not abuse his good na- 
ture. ' ' They,however,bore a grudge against CafFarelli,who 
they thought had advised the expedition, and used to say, 
as he hobbled past with his wooden leg, " He does not 
care what happens ; he is sure to have one foot at least in 
France. ' ' 

Napoleon alone was superior to all these evils. It 
required, however, more than his example of endurance 
and the general influence of his firm character to prevent 
the army from breaking into open mutiny. "Once," 
said he at St Helena, "I threw myself amidst a group of 
generals, and, addressing myself to the tallest of their 
number with vehemence, said, 'You have been talking 
sedition ; take care lest I fulfill my duty ; your five feet 
ten inches would not hinder you from being shot within 
tw'o hours.' " 

On the loth of July, 1798, the army reached the Nile at 
Rahmanie : ' ' We no sooner saw the river, ' ' says Savary in 
his memoirs, ' ' than soldiers, officers and all rushed into 
it ; each, regardless whether it was sufficiently shallow to 
afford security from danger, only sought to quench his 
burning thirst, and stooped to drink from the stream, the 
whole army presenting the appearance of a flock of 
sheep. " " We encamped, ' ' says Napoleon, ' ' on immense 


quantities of wheat, but there was neither mill nor oven 
in the country." The men bruised the grain between 
stones and baked it in the ashes or parched and boiled it. 

The army soon moved on towards Cairo, but the men 
were unable to leave the ranks for a single instant with- 
out certain death from the spears or scimitars of those 
matchless Mameluke horsemen ; and, therefore, although 
so near the Nile, several fell dead from thirst. But the 
worriment of their minds was their worst evil. They 
began to say there was no great city of Cairo ; that they 
believed it would prove only a collection of wretched huts. 
In this state they came up, on the 13th, with the Mame- 
lukes at Chebreis. They were drawn up in battle array 
under Mourad Bey, one of their most powerful chiefs, and 
were a magnificent body of cavalry, glittering with gold 
and silver and mounted on splendid horses. 

The battle commenced without a moment's hesitation on 
either side. Each Mameluke, feeling in himself the 
valor of a host, rushed in the singleness of his purpose, 
as if alone against the opposing mass ; and with repeated 
charges, endeavored, by every means of unbridled fury or 
consummate skill, to break the solid squares of the French 
army. They were at length beaten back with the loss 
of about three hundred. 

After the action at Chebreis the French army continued 
to advance during eight days without opposition of any 
enemy except the hovering Arabs who lay in wait for 
every straggler from the main column. The order of 
march towards Cairo was systematically arranged ; each 
division of the army moved forward in squares six men 
deep on each side ; the artillery was at the angles ; and 
in the centre the amunition, the baggage, and the small 


body of cavalry still remaining. Napoleon himself when 
he rode always made use of a dromedary, though he at 
first suffered a sensation resembling seasickness from its 
peculiar motion. ' ' I never passed the desert, ' ' said he 
sometime later, ' ' without experiencing very painful emo- 
tions. It was the image of immensity to my thoughts. 
It showed no limits. It had neither beginning nor end. 
It was an ocean for the foot of man." 

On the 19th of July the soldiers' eyes were gladdened 
by the sight of the grand pyramids on the horizon. 
Still advancing towards Cairo, the distant monuments 
swelling upon the eye at every step, the army reached 
Embabe on the 21st and found the Mamelukes in battle 
array to dispute their further progress. 

While every eye was fixed on these hoary monuments 
of the past. Napoleon sighted with his glass a vast army 
of the Beys spread out before him, the right posted on an 
intrenched camp by the Nile, its centre and left composed 
of that brilliant cavalry with which they were by this 
time acquainted. Napoleon perceived, too, and what had 
escaped the observation of all his staff, that the 40 pieces 
of cannon on the intrenched camp of the enemy were 
without carriages, and consequently could be leveled in 
but one direction. He instantly decided on his plan of 
attack by preparing to throw his forces on the left, where 
the guns could not be available. Mourad Bey, who com- 
manded the Mamelukes, penetrated the French com- 
mander's design, and his followers at once advanced 
gallantly to the encounter. 

' ' Soldiers, you are about to fight the rulers of Egypt, ' ' 
said Napoleon, as he raised his hands high in the air and 
formed his troops into separate squares to meet the assault ; 


' ' from the summits of yonder pyramids forty centuries 
behold you. ' ' These imposing and mysterious witnesses 
were not appealed to in vain, and the great battle began 
at once at the foot of the ancient and. gigantic monu- 
ments, the French advancing in five grand squares, Napo- 
leon heading the centre square. In an instant the 
Mamelukes came charging up with impetuous speed and 
loud cries. .They rushed on the line of bayonets, backed 
their horses upon liiem, and at last, maddened by the 
firmness which they could not shake, dashed their pistols 
and carbines into the faces of the French troops. 

The first manoeuvre of the French army disconcerted 
the plans of the Mamelukes ; still they continued to 
charge. The places of the dead and dying were instantly 
supplied by new warriors, who fell in their turn. They 
daringly penetrated even between the spaces occupied by 
the squares commanded by Regnier and Desaix, so that 
the desperate horsemen were exposed to the incessant fire 
of both faces of the divisions at the distance of fifty paces. 
Many of the French fell from each other's fire in the 
resistance to this act of desperation. 

Those who had fallen wounded from their seats crawled 
along the sand and hewed at the legs of their enemies 
with their scimitars ; but nothing could move the intrepid 
French. Bayonets and the continued roll of musketry by 
degrees thinned the host around them. When Bon- 
aparte at last advanced with his battalions upon the main 
body, and divided one part from the other, such was the 
confusion and terror of the Mamelukes that they abandoned 
their works and flung themselves by hundreds into the 
Nile. The carnage was prodigious, thousands were left 
bleeding on the sands, and multitudes more were drowned. 


It was the custom of the Mamelukes to carry their treas- 
ures with them on their bodies when they went to battle, 
and every one that fell made a French soldier rich 
for life, as the bodies of the slain were all rifled. In his 
report of the engagement, Bonaparte said : ' ' After the 
great number of battles in which the troops I command 
have been opposed to superior strength, I cannot but 
praise their discipline and coolness on this occasion ; for 
this novel species of warfare has made them display a 
patience contrasting oddly with French impetuosity. If 
they had given way to their ardor, they would not have 
gained the victory, which was only to be obtained by 
great calmness and patience. The cavalry of the Mame- 
lukes evinced great bravery. They defended their for- 
tunes ; for there was not one of them upon whom our sol- 
diers did not find three, four or five hundred gold pieces. " 
Savary, who fought in Desaix's division, which had Xo 
stand the first attack of the Mamelukes, has given a strik- 
. ing description of the impression produced by their furi- 
ous onset. "Although," he says, " the troops that were 
in Egypt had been long inured to danger, every one 
present at the battle of the Pyramids must acknowledge, 
if he be sincere, that the charge of the Mamelukes was 
most awful, and that there was reason, at one moment, 
to apprehend their breaking through our formidable 
squares, rushing upon them, as they did, with a con- 
fidence which enforced silence in our ranks, interrupted 
only by the word of command. It seemed as if we must 
inevitably be trampled in an instant under the feet of this 
cavalry of Mamelukes, who were all mounted upon 
splendid chargers, richly caparisoned with gold and silver 
trappings, covered with draperies of all colors and waving 


scarfs, and who were bearing down upon us at full 
gallop, rending tlie air with their cries. The whole 
character of this imposing sight filled the breasts of our 
soldiers with sensations to which they had hitherto been 
strangers, and made them vividly attentive to the word of 
command. The order to fire was executed with a quick- 
ness and precision far exceeding what is exhibited in an 
exercise or upon parade. ' ' 

More than fifty pieces of cannon and four hundred 
loaded camels became the spoil of the conquerors. 

Mourad and a remnant of 2000 of his Mamelukes 
retreated on Upper Egypt. These were all that escaped 
with life out of the matchless body of men who in such 
superb array had bid scornful defiance to the European 
invaders only a few hours before. Cairo surrendered ; 
Lower Egypt was entirely conquered. Such were the 
immediate consequences of the " Battle of the Pyramids." 

Many of the promiscuous rabble of infantry reached 
Cairo in advance of the French and there they spread 
realistic accounts of the dreadful power of Napoleon and 
his army. 

The name of Bonaparte now spread panic through the 
East, and the victor was considered invincible. The 
inhabitants called him * ' King of Fire, ' ' from the deadly 
effect of the musketry in the engagement at the Pyramids 
which decided the conquest of the country. By the 
earliest dawn the victor prepared to take possession of the 
conquest he had made, but was spared all difficulties by 
its unconditional surrender. A deputation of the shieks 
and chief inhabitants waited upon him at his headquarters 
in the country house of Mourad Bey, to implore his clem- 
ency and submit to his power. He received them with 


the greatest kindness and informed them of his friendly- 
intentions towards them and that hishostiHtywas entirely- 
confined to the Mamelukes. 

Cairo and its citadel were immediately occupied by the 
French troops, and on the 24th of July Napoleon made his 
public entry into the capital, amidst a great concourse of 

The savants who accompanied Bonaparte on the expe- 
dition lost no time in taking advantage of their oppor- 
tunities, and at once began to ransack the monuments of 
antiquity, and founded collections which reflected much 
honor on their zeal and skill. Napoleon himself, accom- 
panied by many officers of his staff, visited the interior of 
the Great Pyramid of Cheops, attended by many muftis 
and imans, and on entering the secret chamber in which, 
three thousand years before, some Pharaoh had been 
interred, repeated once more his confession of faith : 
"There is no God but God, and Mohammed is his 
Prophet. ' ' The learned Orientals who accompanied him 
responded with sarcastic solemnity : ' ' Thou hast spoken 
like the most learned of the prophets ; but God is merci- 

Ten days after the battle at the pyramids had been 
fought and won, Nelson, who had scoured the Mediter- 
ranean in quest of Napoleon, discovered the French fleet, 
commanded by Admiral Brueyes, at anchor in the Bay of 
Aboukir. A terrific engagement ensued, lasting twenty- 
four hours, including a whole night. A solitary pause 
occurred at midnight when the French ship Orient, a 
superb vessel of 120 guns, took fire and blew up in the 
heart of the conflicting squadrons, with an explosion that 
for a moment silenced rage in awe. Admiral Brueyes 


himself perished. The next morning two shattered ships, 
out of all the French fleet, with difficulty made their 
escape to the sea. The rest of the magnificent fleet was 
utterly destroyed or remained in the hands of the English, 
who have since called the engagement "The Battle of the 

The ships were arranged in a semi-circular compact line 
of battle, and so close to the shore that Brueyes had sup- 
posed it was impossible to get between them and the land ; 
but his daring enemy, who well knew all the surroundings, 
soon convinced him of his mistake. The van of the English 
fleet, six in number, successfully rounded the French line, 
dropping anchor between it and the shore, and opened their 
fire, while Nelson, with his other ships, ranged along it on 
the outer side and so placed the French fleet between two 
tremendous fires. Admiral Brueyes was wounded early 
in the action, but continued to command with the utmost 
energy. When he fell mortally wounded he would not 
suffer himself to be carried below. ' ' A French admiral 
ought to die on his quarter-deck," he replied to the 
entreaties of his friend Gantheaume who succeeded him. 

It was on his return from Salahie to Cairo, whither 
Napoleon had pursued the Mameluke chief, Ibrahim-Bey, 
and defeated him, that he was met by a messenger, with 
information of the destruction of the French fleet by 
Nelson in the roads of Aboukir. It was a terrible blow 
to Napoleon, who was thus shut off from all intercourse 
with France ; his soldiers were thus completely isolated, 
hundreds of miles from home, and compelled to rely on 
their own arms and the resources of Egypt. He had 
been so anxious about the fleet as to write twice to_ 
Admiral Brueyes to repeat the order that he should enter 

From an Engraving bj t . i 



the harbor of Alexandria, or sail for Corfu ; he had also, 
previously to leaving Cairo, dispatched Julien, his aide- 
de-camp, to enforce the order ; but this unfortunate officer 
was surrounded and killed, with his escort, at a village on 
the Nile, where he had landed to obtain provisions, 

A solitary sigh escaped Napoleon when he heard the 
news. ' ' To the army of France, ' ' said he, " the fates have 
decreed the empire of the land — to England the sovereignty 
of the seas. ' ' Some years later, on learning of the results 
of the terrible naval battle at Trafalgar, in which Nelson 
was again victorious, but which cost him his life, Napo- 
leon repeated this remark, adding, "Well, I cannot be 
everywhere. ' ' The seamen who had landed at Alexan- 
dria were now formed into a marine brigade, and made a 
valuable addition to the army. Very soon afterwards the 
Porte declared war against France. 

^ Public improvements of various kinds were now begun 
at Cairo and Alexandria under Bonaparte's direction, 
and many continue to this day. In all quarters the 
highest discipline was preserved ; and Napoleon 
exerted all the energy of his nature to increase 
the resources which remained to him, and to preserve 
and organize Egypt as a French province. ' ' At each 
step of his advance," says- Savary, "General Bona- 
parte quickly foresaw everything that was to be done to 
render available the resources of the most fertile country 
in the world and give them a suitable application." So 
quickly had his mind recovered its tone that, on the 21st 
of August (only a week after he had learned of the 
destruction of his fleet at Aboukir), he founded an Insti- 
tute at Cairo exactly on the model of that learned society 
in France. Monge was president ; Napoleon himself, 


At Cairo a terrible insurrection occurred on the 21st of 
October, but it was soon put down by the French troops, 
after a bitter struggle in which many soldiers lost their 
lives. Napoleon was in the thickest of the conflict on 
horseback in the centre of thirty Guides and soon restored 
confidence among his soldiers. Tranquility was restored 
in three days, after which many of the leaders were put 
to death. The others were pardoned. 

Napoleon now proceeded to explore the Isthmus of 
Suez, where a narrow neck of land divides the Red Sea 
from the Mediterranean. He visited the Maronite Monks 
of Mount Sinai, and, as Mohammed had done before him, 
affixed his name to their charter of privileges ; he exam- 
ined, also, the Fountains of Moses, and on the 28th of 
December, 1798, nearly lost his life in exploring, during 
low water, the sands of the Red Sea, where Pharaoh is 
supposed to have perished while in pursuit of the He- 
brews. ' 'The night overtook us, ' ' saj^s Savary , "the waters 
began to rise around us ; the Guard in advance exclaimed 
that their horses were swimming. Bonaparte saved us all 
by one of those simple expedients which occur to an 
imperturbable mind. Placing himself in the centre he 
bade all the rest circle around him, and then ride out, 
each man in a separate direction, and each to halt as soon 
as he found his horse swimming. The man whose horse 
continued to march the last, was sure, he said, to be in 
the right direction ; then accordingly we all followed, and 
reached Suez at two in the morning in safety, though so 
rapidly had the tide advanced that the water was at the 
breastplate of our horses ere we made the land." In 
referring to this narrow escape from sharing the fate of 
Pharaoh, Napoleon remarked tol^as Casas : " This would 


have furnished all the preachers in Christendom with a 
splendid text against me. ' ' 

On his return to Cairo Bonaparte dispatched a trusty 
messenger into India, inviting Tippoo Saib to inform him 
of the condition of the English army in that section, and 
declaring that Egypt was only the first port in a march 
destined to surpass that of Alexander. According to his 
secretary, ' ' he spent whole days in lying flat on the 
ground stretched on maps of Asia." 

After having passed the balance of the year at Cairo 
the commander declared the time for action had now 
arrived. Leaving 15,000 men in and about Cairo, the 
division of Desaix in Upper Egypt, and garrisons in the 
chief towns, Bonaparte, on the nth of February, 1799, 
marched for Syria at the head of 10,000 picked men, with 
the intention of crushing the Turkish armaments in that 
quarter before their chief force, which he learned was assem- 
bling at Rhodes, should have time to reach Egypt by sea. 

The hostility of the Porte, which would of course be 
encouraged and assisted by England, implied impending 
danger on two points, — the approach of a Turkish army 
via Syria and the landing of another on the coast of the 
Mediterranean, under the protection of British ships. 
The necessity of forestalling their designs by an expedition 
to Syria was therefore apparent. In January, 1799, two 
Turkish armies were assembled ; one at Rhodes ; the 
other in Syria. The former was intended to make a 
descent upon the coast of Egypt at Aboukir, the latter 
had already pushed forward its advance guard to El- 
Arisch, a fort within the Egyptian territory, had estab- 
lished large magazines at Gaza and landed at Jaffa a train 
of artillery of forty guns. 


Traversing the desert, seventy-five leagues across, which 
divides Egypt from Syria, with about twelve thousand 
men, one regiment being mounted on dromedaries. Napo- 
leon took possession of the fortress El Arisch on February 
1 7th, after a vigorous assault. The march was made rapidly 
and in good order. Having resolved upon an immediate 
expedition into Syria, he did not wait to be attacked on 
both sides at the same time ; but, according to his usual cus- 
tom, determined to push forward and encounter one divi- 
sion of his enemies at a time. He addressed two letters to 
the Pasha of Syria, surnamed Djezzar or " the Butcher," 
from his horrible cruelties, offering him friendship and 
alliance, but the pasha observed a'contemptuous silence as 
to the first communication, and replied to the second in his 
favorite fashion — seized the messenger and cut off his head. 
There was, consequently, nothing to be done with Djezzar 
but to fight him with such generals as Kleber, Bessieres, 
Caffarelli, Murat, Lannes, Junot and Berthier. 

Pursuing his march. Napoleon took Gaza, the ancient 
city of the Philistines,without serious opposition, although 
three or four thousand of Djezzar' s horse were drawn up 
to oppose them. At Jaffa, the Joppa of Holy Writ, the 
Moslems made a resolute defense, on March 6th, but at 
length the walls were carried by storm. Three thousand 
Turks died with arms in their hands in defense of the 
city, and the town was given up for three hours to pillage 
more savage than Napoleon had ever before permitted. 
This was followed by a massacre of hundreds of the 
barbarians who were marched out of Jaffa some distance 
from the town, in the centre of a battalion under General 
Bon, divided into small parties and shot or bayoneted to a 
man. Like true fatalists they submitted in silence, and 


their bodies were gathered into a pyramid where for half 
a century their bones were still visible in the whitening 

Napoleon, while admitting that the act was one of the 
darkest stains on his name that he had to acknowledge, 
still justified himself on the double plea that he could not 
afford soldiers to guard so many prisoners — estimated vari- 
ously from 1 200 to 3,000 — and that he could not grant 
them the benefit of parole because they were the very men 
who had already been set free by him on such terms at 
Kl-Arisch after they had given their word not to serve 
against him for a year. "Now," said Napoleon at St. 
Helena, " if I had spared them again and sent them away 
on their parole, they would directly have gone to St. Jean 
d'Acre, where they would have played me over again the 
same trick that they had done at Jaffa. In justice to the 
lives of my soldiers, since every general ought to consider 
himself as their father, and them as his children, I could 
not allow this. To leave as a guard a portion of my army, 
already small and reduced ia number, in consequence of 
the breach of faith of those wretches, was impossible. I 
therefore * * * ordered that the prisoners should be 
singled out and shot. * * * i would do the same 
thing to-morrow and so would any general commanding 
an army under such circumstances." 

Napoleon now ascertained that the Pasha of Syria was 
at St. Jean d'Acre, so renowned in the history of the Cru- 
sades, and determined to defend that place to extremity 
with the force which had already been assembled for the 
invasion of Egypt. Sir Sidney Smith, with two ships of 
war, was cruising before the port and the garrison was 
assisted by European science. 


The French army moved on Acre, eager for revenge, 
while the necessary apparatus of a siege was ordered to 
be sent round by sea from Alexandria. Sir Sidney Smith 
was informed by Djezzar, of the approaching storm, and 
hastened to support him in the defense of Acre. Napo- 
leon's vessels, conveying guns and stores from Egypt, fell 
into his hands and he appeared off the town two days before 
the French army came in view of it. He was permitted 
to regulate the plan of defense, turning Napoleon's own 
cannon against him from the -walls. 

Napoleon commenced the siege on the i8th of March 
and opened his trenches immediately on his arrival. ' 'On 
that little town," he said to one of his generals, as they 
were standing together on an eminence, "On yonder little 
town depends the fate of the East: behold the key of 
Constantinople or of India. ' ' ' 'The moment Acre falls, ' ' 
he said about the same time to Bourrienne, "all the 
Druses of Mount I^ebanon will join me ; the Syrians, 
weary of Djezzar' s oppressions, will crowd to my 
standard : I shall march upon Constantinople with an 
army to which the Turks can offer no effectual resistance, 
and it is not unlikely that I may return to France by the 
route of Adrianople and Vienna, destroying the house of 
Austria on my way." 

For ten days the French labored hard in their trenches, 
being exposed to the fire of extensive batteries, formed 
chiefly of Bonaparte's own artillery. On March 28th, how- 
ever, a breach was at last effected and the French mounted 
with such fiery zeal that the garrison gave way. Shortly 
afterwards Djezzar himself appeared on the battlements, 
and flinging his pistols at the head of his flying men, urged 
and compelled them to renew the defense, which they 
finally did, causing the French to retreat with great loss. 


In the meantime Junot, having marched with his divi- 
sion to encounter a large Mussulman army that had been 
gathered among the mountains of Samaria, and was pre- 
paring to descend upon Acre, Napoleon was compelled to 
follow him to Nazareth, were he was rescued on April 
8th. Here, as usual, the splendid cavalry of the Orientals 
were unable to resist the solid squares and well-directed 
musketry of the French. General Kleber, with another 
division, was in like manner rescued by the general-in- 
chief at Mount Thabor on April 15th, after the former 
had fought against fearful odds from six in the morning 
till one in the afternoon. 

Napoleon now returned to the siege of Acre with all 
possible dispatch, pressed it on with desperate assaults day 
after day, losing many of his best soldiers. Accustomed 
to the easy victories which he had obtained on every 
encounter with the Turkish forces in Syria, he was not 
prepared to expect the determined resistance by which his 
progress was now arrested. Acre is surrounded by a wall 
flanked with towers, and was further defended by a broad 
and deep ditch with strong works. At one time the 
French succeeded in forcing their way into the great 
tower and in establishing themselves in one part of it for 
a time despite all opposition ; but they were finally dis- 
lodged ; each advantage ended with itself and no progress 
was made towards subduing the place. At another time a 
break was made in the walls in a distant part of the town, 
and a French party entered Acre at the opening. Djezzar 
then threw such a crowd of Turks upon them that all dis- 
cipline was lost and nearly every French soldier met death. 
The brave Lannes, who headed the party, was with diffi- 
culty rescued after being desperately wounded. 


During this siege Napoleon sent an officer with an 
order to the most exposed position ; he was killed. 
He sent another, who was also killed ; and so with 
a third. The order was imperative and Bonaparte had 
but two aides with him, Eugene Beauharnais and Laval- 
ette. He signaled to the latter to come forward, and said 
to him in a low voice, so that Eugene could not hear : 
" Take this order, Lavalette, I don't want to send this 
boy and have him killed so young ; his mother (Josephine) 
has intrusted him to me. You know what life is. Go !" 
The aide returned in safety. 

On another occasion during the siege a piece of 
shell struck Eugene on the head : he fell, and lay 
for a long time under the ruins of a wall which the 
shell had knocked down. Bonaparte thought he was 
killed, and uttered a cry of grief. The youth was only 
wounded, however, and at the end of nineteen days 
asked leave to return to his post, in order to take part in 
the other assaults, which failed like the first, in spite of 
Bonaparte's obstinacy. " This wretched hole, " said he, 
' ' has cost me a good deal of time and a great many men, 
but things have gone too far ; I must try one last assault. ' ' 

An instance of the enthusiastic attachment which Napo- 
leon was capable of inspiring occurred during this memor- 
able siege. One day, when the commander was in the 
trenches, a shell thrown by Sir Sidney Smith, fell at his 
feet. Two grenadiers immediately rushed towards him, — 
placed him between them, and raised their arms above 
his head so as to completely cover every part of his body. 
The shell burst without injuring one of the group, 
although they were covered with sand. Both these gren- 
adiers were made officers immediately ; one of them. 


subsequently, was the General Dumesnil, so much talked 
of 18 14, for his resolute defense of Vincennes against the 
Russians. He had lost a leg in the campaign of Moscow ; 
and to the summons to surrender he replied, ' ' Give me 
back my leg and I will give up the fortress ! ' ' The fate 
of his heroic companion is not recorded. 

The siege had now continued for sixty days. Napoleon 
once more commanded an assault on the 8th of May, and 
his officers and soldiers obeyed him with devoted but 
fruitless gallantry. "That Sidney Smith," he said later, 
' 'made me miss my fortune. ' ' The loss his army had by 
this time undergone was very great, and the hearts of 
all the men were quickly sinking. 

Among the officers and men who fell on this memorable 
8th of May was Croisier, the aide-de-camp, who had 
incurred the commander's displeasure at Jaffa. Napoleon 
had once before been violently irritated against him for 
some seeming neglect at Cairo, and the word "coward" 
had escaped him. The feelings of Croisier, then deeply 
affected had become insupportable since the event at Jaffa, 
and he sought death at every opportunity. On this day 
Napoleon observed the tall figure of his unfortunate aide- 
de-camp mounted on a battery, exposed to the thickest 
of -the enemy's fire, and called loudly and imperatively, 
"Croisier, come down! you have no business there." 
Croisier neither replied nor moved ; the next instant he 
received his death wound. 

A Turkish fleet had now arrived to reinforce Djezzar, 
and upon the utter failure of the attack of the 21st of May, 
the eleventh different attempt to carry the place by assault, 
Napoleon yielded to stern necessity, raised the siege, and 
began his retreat upon Jaffa. On leaving this latter place 


some six days after, a number of plague patients in the 
hospitals were found to be in a state that held out no hope 
of their recovery, and the commander, unwilling to leave 
them to the cruel practices of the Turks, suggested that 
opium be administered by one of the medical staff as a 
speedy death. 

The various accounts of this incident in no way agree 
in detail. Bonaparte denied at St. Helena that the opium 
was given, but said that the patients, seven in number 
were abandoned. He declared also, that if his own son 
had been among the number he would have advised that 
it be done rather than to leave them to suffer the tortures 
of the Turks. Sir Sidney Smith found seven alive in the 
hospitals when he came up. A rear guard had been left 
to protect them and they probably galloped off before 
the English entered the place. Bourrienne, who acted 
as secretary to Napoleon at this time, gives a different 
account, while others assert that 500 men were thus dis- 
posed of. The real facts will probably never be known 
although both Hazlitt and Sir Walter Scott acquit Napo- 
leon of all blame after a careful investigation of all the 
facts. That Bonaparte's motives were good his enemies 
generally admit, as he seems to have designed, by short- 
ening these men's lives, to do them the best service in 
his power. 

The retreating march was a continued scene of misery; 
the wounded and sick were many, the heat oppressive, 
and the burdens almost intolerable. Dejected by the 
sight of so much suffering Napoleon issued an order that 
every horse, mule and camel should be given up to the 
sick, wounded and infected. Shortly afterwards one of 
his attendants came to ask which horse he wished to 


reserve for himself. "Scoundrel! " the commander cried, 
' 'do you not know the order ? L^et every one march on 
foot — I the first! Begone!" He accordingly, during the 
rest of the march, walked by the side of the sick, cheer- 
ing them to hope for recovery, and exhibiting to all the 
soldiery the example at once of endurance and compas- 
sion. As he had done in Italy, Napoleon always shared 
the privations and fatigue of the army and their extremities 
were sometimes so great that the troops were compelled to 
contend with each other for the smallest comforts. Upon 
one occasion in the desert, the soldiers would scarcely allow 
their general to dip his hands in a muddy pool of water ; 
and when passing the ruins of Pelusium, almost suffo- 
cated by heat, a soldier yielded him the ruins of an 
ancient doorway beneath which he contrived to shade his 
head for a few minutes and which Napoleon observed, 
' 'was no trifling favor. ' ' 

On the march between Cesarea and Jaffa, Napoleon 
very narrowly escaped death. Many of the men had 
by this time regained their horses, owing to the continual 
death of the wretched objects who had been mounted 
upon them. The commander was so exhausted that he 
had fallen asleep on his horse. A little before daybreak, a 
native, concealed among the bushes close to the road- 
side, took aim at his head, and fired. The ball missed : 
the man was pursued, caught and ordered to be instantly 
shot. Four Guides drew their triggers, but all their car- 
bines hung fire, owing to the extreme humidity of the 
night. The Syrian leaped into the sea, which was close 
to the road ; swam to a ledge of rocks, which he mounted 
and there stood, undaunted and untouched by the shots 
of the whole troop, who fired at him as they pleased. 


Napoleon left Bourrienne behind to wait for Kleber, who 
formed the rear guard and to order him "not to forget the 
Naplousian." It is not certain that he was shot at last. 

On his return to Cairo on the 14th of June, 1799, 
after a march of twenty-five days, Napoleon once 
more re-established himself in his former headquarters ; 
but he had not long occupied himself with the establish- 
ment of a new government for Egypt which was then in 
a state of perfect tranquility, when word came to him of a 
probable uprising at Alexandria. The commander 
therefore decided to go there at once. He arrived on the 
24th of July and found his army posted in the neighbor- 
hood of Aboukir, prepared to anticipate an attack of 
the Turks which had appeared off Aboukir under the 
protection of two British ships commanded by Sir Sidney 
Smith, on the morrow. Surveying their intrenched camp 
from the heights above, the commander said to Murat ; 
"Go how it may, the battle of tomorrow will decide the 
fate of the world." "Of this army at least," answered 
Murat; "but the Turks have no cavalry, and if ever 
infantry were charged to the teeth by horse, they shall be 
so by mine," a promise which the brave cavalry leader 
made good. 

Next morning the Turkish outposts were attacked and 
the enemy driven in with great slaughter. The retreat 
might have ended in a rout but for the eagerness of the 
enemy who engaged in the task of spoiling and maiming 
those who fell before them. This gave to Murat the 
opportunity of charging the main body, — which had been 
drawn up in battle array on the field, — in flank with his 
cavalry. From that moment the engagement was no 
longer a battle but a massacre. The French infantry, 


under the rallying eye of Napoleon, forced a passage to 
the intrenchments, and attacking the Turks on all sides, 
caused them to throw themselves headlong into the 
the waves, rather than await the fury of the French 
cavalry and the steady fire of the artillery. The sea at 
first appeared literally covered with turbans. It was only 
when weary with slaughter that quarter was given to 
about 6,000 men — the rest of the Turkish army, consist- 
ing of 18,000 having perished on the field or in the sea. 
Six thousand were taken prisoners. 

The defeat of the Turks at Aboukir filled the French 
soldiers at Cairo with extreme rapture ; Murat was 
promoted to the rank of a general of division and 
Napoleon ordered his name and that of Roize and the 
numbers of the regiments of cavalry present at the battle, 
engraved upon pieces of brass cannon. Mustapha Pasha, 
the commanding general of the Turks, on being brought 
into the presence of his victor, was saluted with these 
words : "It has been your fate to lose this day ; but I 
will take care to inform the sultan of the courage with 
which you have contested it. ' ' 

' ' Spare thyself that trouble. ' ' answered the proud pasha, 
" my master knows me better than thou." On the even- 
ing after the battle. General Kleber embraced Bonaparte 
and said to him, ' ' General, you are as great as the 
world !" " It is not written on high that I am to perish 
by the hands of the Arabs," replied Napoleon. 

This splendid and most decisive victory at Aboukir con- 
cluded Bonaparte's career in the East. It was imperiously 
necessary, ere he could have ventured to quit the command 
of the army, that he should have to his credit some such 
glory after the retreat from Syria. It preserved his 


credit with the public and enabled him to state that 
he left Egypt for the time in . absolute security. 
After the engagement Napoleon sent a flag of truce 
to Sir Sidney Smith, and an interchange of civilities com- 
menced between the English and the French. This 
circumstance, trifling in itself, led to important conse- 
quences. Among other things, a copy of a French journal, 
dated the loth of June 1799 was sent ashore by Sir Sidney 
Smith. No news from France had reached Egypt for ten 
months. Napoleon seized the paper with eagerness and 
its contents verified his worst fears ; he had said some time 
before while at Acre that he feared France was in trouble. 
As he opened the paper he exclaimed : * ' My God ! My 
presentiment is realized ; the imbeciles have lost Italy ! All 
the fruits of our victories are gone ! I must leave Egypt. ' ' 
He then spent the whole night in his tent reading a file of the 
English newspapers which had been furnished him. From 
these he learned of Suwarrow's victories over the French 
in Italy and of the disastrous internal state of France. In 
the morning Admiral Gantheaume received hasty orders to 
prepare the two frigates Muiron and Ca^-rere and two cor- 
vetts, for sea, with the utmost secrecy and dispatch, 
furnishing them with two months provisions for five hun- 
dred men. 

Napoleon returned to Cairo on the 9th of August, but it 
was only to make some parting arrangements as to the 
administration of affairs there, for he had resolved to in- 
trust Egypt to other hands, and at once set out for France, 
He reached Alexandria once more, and was there met by 
those whom he had decided should make the return voy- 
age with him. He selected Berthier, Cannes, Murat, 
Marmont and Andreossy with five hundred picked men to 


accompany him : these with Monge and Denon proceeded 
to depart from Alexandria without delay. On the i8th a 
courier from Gantheaume brought information that Sir 
, Sidney Smith had left the coast to take water at Cyprus. 
This was the signal for Napoleon's instant departure. 

On the morning of August 23d, 1799, Bonaparte and his 
chosen followers embarked at Rosetta on two frigates and 
two smaller vessels, which had been saved in the harbor of 
Alexandria. A lack of water, and an accident to one of 
the English ships had compelled the enemy to raise the 
blockade and so favored his departure. In writing to the 
Divan and announcing his departure he said : ' ' Remind 
the Musselmen frequently of my love for them. Acquaint 
them that I have two great means to conduct men — persua- 
sion and force ; with the one I gain friends, and with the 
other I destroy my enemies. ' ' 

General Kleber was now placed in command of the 
Army of Egypt by Napoleon who informed his successor 
of the reasons of his departure for France, and his inten- 
tion of sending recruits and munitions at the earliest pos- 
sible moment. He said to Kleber, ' ' The army which I 
confide to you is composed of my children ; in all times, 
even in the midst of the greatest sufferings I have received 
the mark of their attachment ; keep alive in them these 
sentiments. You owe this to the particular esteem and 
true attachment which I bear myself towards you. ' ' 

The French frigates had hardly passed from sight of 
land when they were reconnoitred by an English corvette, 
a circumstance which seemed of evil augury. Bonaparte 
assured his companions by his usual allusions to his own 
' ' destiny ' ' which he declared would protect him on sea 
as well as land. " We will arrive safe, " said he, "for- 


tune will never abandon us — we will arrive safe despite 
the enemy." 

Napoleon left no responsibility upon the admiral to 
whom the various manoeuvres have been ascribed : "As 
if," says Bourrienne, "any one could command when 
Bonaparte was present ! ' ' 

By express directions of Napoleon, the squadron, 
instead of taking the ordinary course, kept close to the 
African coast, in the direction of the southern point of 
Sardinia ; his intention being to take a northerly course 
along the northern coast of that island. He had irrevoc- 
ably determined, that should the English fleet appear, he 
would run ashore ; make his way, with the little army 
under his command, to Orin, Tunis, or some other port ; 
and thence find another opportunity of getting to 

The entire voyage was one of constant peril, for the 
Mediterranean was traversed in all directions by English 
ships of war. For twenty-one days, adverse winds, blow- 
ing from west or northwest, continually drove the squad- 
ron on the Syrian coast, or back towards Alexandria. It 
was once proposed that they should again put into that 
port, but Napoleon would not hear of it, declaring that 
he would brave any danger. On the 30th of September 
he reached Ajaccio, and was received with enthusiasm at 
the place of his birth ; but according to his own phrase, 
' ' it rained cousins ' ' and he was wearied with solicitations. 
' ' What will become of me, ' ' he said, "if the English, who 
are cruising hereabouts, should learn that I have landed 
in Corsica ? I shall be forced to stay here. That I could 
never endure. I have a torrent of relations pouring upon 
me. " " His brilliant reputation, ' ' says Bourrienne, ' ' had 


prodigiously augmented his family connections, and from 
the great number of his pretended god-children it might 
have been thought that he had held one-fourth of the 
children of Ajaccio at the baptismal font. ' ' It was during 
his stay in Corsica that Napoleon first heard of the loss 
of the battle of Novi by the French army and of the death 
of Joubert. ' ' But for that confounded quarantine ' ' he 
exclaimed, " I would hasten ashore, and place myself at 
the head of the Army of Italy. All is not over ; and I 
am sure that there is not a general who would refuse me 
the command. The news of the victory gained by me, 
would reach Paris as soon as the battle of Aboukir ; that, 
indeed, would be excellent!" 

On the 7th of October the voyage was at last resumed, 
the winds being again favorable, and on the morning of 
the 9th, after a narrow escape from the English, he moored 
in safety in the bay of Frejus. 

The story he brought of the victory of Aboukir, gave new 
fuel to the flame of universal enthusiasm, and Napoleon's 
return to Paris bore all the appearance of a triumphal pro- 
cession. The shouts of welcome with which he was hailed 
were echoed by the whole population of France. He returned 
from Egypt as a " conqueror, ' ' although almost alone ; 
yet Providence designed in this apparently deserted con- 
dition that he should be the instrument of more astonishing 
changes than the greatest efforts of the greatest conquer- 
ors had ever before been able to effect upon the civilized 
world. Napoleon was regarded as the champion of 
liberty, as well as the successful military leader ; and 
none of his actions, or expressed opinions had as yet con- 
tradicted such an estimation of his principles. 



The campaign in Egypt was of little service to France, 
but to Napoleon it was most useful. Of the aides-de- 
camp whom he took with him four perished there, 
Croisier, Sulkowski, Guibert and Julian ; two, Duroc and 
Eugene Beauharnais were wounded ; Lavalette and Mer- 
lin alone returned safe and sound. Bonaparte had the 
highest regard for Josephine's son Eugene'. He was 
brave and manly, and although a youth of seventeen soon 
won Bonaparte's lasting affection. If there was a danger- 
ous duty, — to ride into the desert and reconnoitre the 
bands of Arabs or Mamelukes, Eugene was always the 
first to volunteer. One day when he was hastening for- 
ward with his usual eagerness, Bonaparte called him back, 
saying : "Young man, remember that in our business we 
must never seek danger ; we must be satisfied with doing 
our duty, doing it well, and leaving the rest to God !" 

At the capital Napoleon was received with every dem- 
onstration of joy by the French people, who now looked 
upon him as their liberator. All parties seemed to be 
weary of the Directory, and to demand the decisive in- 
terference of the unrivalled soldier. On his return 
he was much surprised to learn of the real con- 
dition of France, and to an emissary of Barras he 
said with some degree of feeling : "What have you done 
with that land of France which I left to your care in so 
magnificent a condition ? I bequeathed 3^ou peace, and on 
my return find war. I left you the memory of victories, 
and now I have come back to face defeats. I left with 
you the millions I had gathered in Italy, and today I see 
nothing in every direction but laws despoiling the people, 
coupled with distress. What have you done with the 
one hundred thousand of French citizens, my companions 


in glory, all of whom I knew ? You' have sent them to 
their death. This state of things cannot last ; for it 
would lead us to despotism, and we require liberty repos- 
ing on a basis of equality." The Directory offered him 
the choice of any army he would command. He did not 
refuse, but pleaded the necessity of a short interval of 
leisure for the recovery of his health and speedily with- 
drew from the conference in order to avoid any more such 
embarrassing offers. He had by this time, evidently, a 
very clear perception of the course before him, and had 
made up his mind to place himself in circumstances to 
confer high offices and commands, instead of accepting 

In talking afterwards to Madame de Remusat about 
this period in his career, Napoleon said : ' 'The Directory 
was not uneasy at my return ; I was extremely on my 
guard, and never in my life have I displayed more skill. 
Everyone ran into my traps, and when I became the head 
of the State there was not a party in France that did not 
base its hopes on my success. ' ' 



At the time of Napoleon's return from the Egyptian 
expedition the legislative bodies of Paris were divided 
into two parties, the Moderates, headed by Sieyes, and 
the Democrats, by Barras. Finding it impossible to 



remain neutral, Bonaparte took sides with the former. / 
IvUcien, his brother, had just been elected president of the 
Council of Five Hundred ; the subtle and able Tallejrrand 
and the accomplished Sieyes were his confidants, and he 
determined to overwhelm the imbecile government and 
take the reins in his own hands. He had measured his 
strength, established his purpose, and, as France stood in 
need of a more energetic and regenerated government, he 
now went calmly to its execution. 

During his absence in Egypt France had cause to deplore 
the loss of his military genius, and had hailed his return 
with rapturous acclamations. Napoleon's intentions were 
no sooner suspected than he was surrounded by all those 
who were discontented with the established government, 
and who found in him such a leader as they had long 
looked for in vain. 

He soon opened negotiations with Sieyes who com- 
manded a majority in the Council of Ancients, and had 
no sooner convinced him that the project of overturn- 
ing the Directorial government was his object, than he 
was regarded as the instrument destined to give France 
that ' ' systematic ' ' constitution he had so long deliberated 
on and desired. Napoleon's overtures were therefore cordi- 
ally met, and Sieyes gave all the weight of his influence 
to the impending revolution. Two men whose names 
have since been known all over Europe, were also added 
to the number of his adherents, Talleyrand, who had 
been recently deposed from a place in the ministry ; and 
Fouche, minister of police. The talents of both were 
actively employed in his service and materially promoted 
his success. He had no faith in Fouche and used him 
without giving him his confidence. I^ucien Bonaparte 


held the important post of president of the Council of 
Five Hundred ; a circumstance highly advantageous to 
his brother at this juncture. It was there that the great- 
est opposition would be made to any attempt which was 
hostile to the Constitution of the Year Three. 

A large portion of the army was certain to side with 
Napoleon. His house was now the resort of all the 
generals and men of note who had served under him in 
his campaigns in Italy and Egypt, Bernadotte alone stand- 
ing aloof. 

A meeting took place between Napoleon and Sieyes on 
the 6th of November 1799, in which it was finally 
determined that the revolution should be attempted on the 
9th. This date, called in the history of the period, the 
1 8th Brumaire, was exactly one month from the day of 
Napoleon's landing at Frejus on his return from Egypt. 
The measures resolved upon were as follows : The 
Council of Ancients, taking advantage of an article 
in the constitution, which authorized the measure, were 
to decree the removal of the legislative bodies to St. Cloud, 
beyond the walls of the city. They were next to appoint 
Napoleon commander-in-chief of their own guard, of 
the troops of the military division of Paris, and of the 
National Guard. These decrees were to be passed at 
seven in the morning ; at eight Napoleon was to go to the 
Tuileries, where the troops should be assepibled,and there 
assume the command of the capital. 

The Council of Ancients at length gathered in the 
Tuileries at an early hour, every arrangement having 
been made in accordance with these resolutions, declared 
that the salvation of the State demanded vigorous meas- 
ures, and proposed through its president, (one of Napo- 


Icon's confidants) — the passage of the decrees already 
agreed upon! The decrees were at once adopted without 
debate and Napoleon notified. All had occurred as had 
been prearranged. Early on the morning of the i8th 
Brumaire, the house of Napoleon in the Rue de la Vic- 
toire was crowded with a large assemblage of officers. It 
was too small to hold them all and many were in the 
court-yard and entrances. Numbers of these were devoted 
to him ; a few were in the secret, and all began to suspect 
that something extraordinary was soon to happen. 
Every one was in uniform except Bernadotte who 
appeared in plain clothes. Displeased at this mark of 
separation from the rest Napoleon said hastily : ' ' How 
is this ? You are not in uniform ! ' ' 

" I never am on a morning when I am not on duty," 
replied Bernadotte. 

" You will be on duty presently," rejoined Napoleon. 

' ' I have not heard of it ; I should have received my 
orders sooner, ' ' came the answer quickly. 

Napoleon now drew him aside, disclosed his plans and 
invited him to take part with the new movement against 
a detested government. Bernadotte' s only answer was 
that " he would not take part in a rebellion," and with 
some reluctance made a half promise of neutrality. 

The moment the decrees of the Council of Ancients 
arrived Napoleon came forward to the steps of his house, 
read the documents, and invited them all to follow him to 
the Tuileries. The enthusiasm of those present was now 
at the highest pitch and all the officers drew their swords, 
promising their services and fidelity. Napoleon instantly 
mounted, and placed himself at the head of the generals 
and ofiicers. Attended by one thousand five hundred 


horse, he halted on the boulevard at the corner of the 
street Mont Blanc ; he then dispatched some confidential 
troops under Moreau to guard the IvUxembourg, and the 
Directory ceased to exist, although Barras entered a mild 
protest and then retired to his country residence to live 
upon the great spoils of his office. 

The Council of Five Hundred, an hour or two after- 
wards, assembled to learn its fate. Resistance would 
have been idle, and adjourning for their next session at St. 
Cloud, they mingled with the enthusiastic people shouting, 
' ' Vive la Republique ! ' ' When they assembled at St. 
Cloud the next morning they found that beautiful chateau 
completely invested by the brilliant battalions under the 
orders of Murat. 

At about one o'clock on the 19th Bruraaire Napoleon 
appeared at St. Cloud attended by Berthier, lycfebvre, 
I^annes and all the generals in his confidence. Upon his 
arrival he learned that a heated debate had commenced in 
the Council of Ancients on the subject of the resignation 
of the directors and the immediate election of others. 
Napoleon hastily entered the hall accompanied only by 
Berthier and Bourrienne who attended as his secretary. 
He addressed the body with much difficulty and 
after many dramatic interruptions, told them that it 
was upon them he relied, declaring his belief that the 
Council of Five Hundred — corresponding in part with 
the lower house of Congress — would restore the Conven- 
tion, popular tumults, the scaffold, the Reign of Terror. 
"I will save you from all these horrors," he said, "I and 
my brave comrades, whose swords and caps I see at the 
door of this hall ; and if any hireling traitor talks of out- 
lawry, to those swords will I appeal. You stand over a 


volcano. Let a soldier tell the truth frankly. I was 
quiet in my home when this Council summoned me to 
action. I obeyed : I collected my brave comrades, and 
placed the arms of my country at the service of you who 
are its head. We are repaid with calumnies — they 
talk of Cromwell — of Caesar. Had I aspired to power the 
opportunity was mine ere now. I swear that France 
holds no more devoted patriot. Dangers surround us. 
Let us not hazard the advantages for which we have paid 
so dearly — Liberty and Equality !" Rallying at the 
uproar which pursued him to the door, Napoleon turned 
round and called upon the Council to assist him in saving 
the country; and with the words, "Let those who love 
me follow , " he passed quickly out, reached the court- 
yard where he showed the soldiers the order naming 
him commander-in-chief, and then leaped upon his horse, 
shouts of "Vive Bonaparte !" resounding on all sides. 

In the meantime the hostile Council of Five Hundred 
had aSvSembled, and there a far different scene was pass- 
ing. With the same steadiness of purpose and calm- 
ness of manner, Bonaparte walked into the chamber 
with two grenadiers on either side, who halted at the 
doors that were left open, while the general advanced 
towards the centre of the chamber. 

At the sight of drawn swords at the passageway, and 
the presence of armed men at the doors of that delibera- 
tive body, loud cries of "Down with the traitor !" ' 'Long 
live the Constitution ! ' ' etc. , broke forth. Several of the 
members rushed upon Napoleon, some seized him by the 
collar and one is said to have attempted his life with a 
dagger. In an instant the grenadiers rushed forward 
exclaiming, "Let us save our general," and bore their 
commander from the hall. 


Napoleon was quickly in the midst of his soldiers and 
found ready ears and enthusiastic spirits to listen to his 
excited words. "Soldiers," he said, "I offered them vic- 
tory and fame — they have answered me with daggers." 

It was at this moment that Augereau, whose faith in 
his former general's fortune began to waver, is said to 
have addressed him with the words, "A fine situation you 
have brought yourself into ! ' ' Upon which Napoleon 
answered, "Augereau, things were worse at Areola ; take 
my advice, remain quiet ; in a short time all this will 

Meanwhile the commotion in the Council of Five Hun- 
dred rose to the highest pitch, a scene of the wildest con- 
fusion was taking place in the Assembly, and the grena- 
diers sent by Napoleon once more entered and bore I^ucien, 
the president, from his colleagues. They had charged 
him with conspiracy and were about to vent their fury 
upon him, when he flung off the insignia of his ofiice and 
was rescued. 

lyUcien found the soldiery without in a high state of 
excitement. He mounted a horse quickly that he might 
be seen and heard the better, and dramatically addressed 
the assembled troops : "General Bonaparte, and you, sol- 
diers of France," he said, "the President of the Council 
of Five Hundred announces to you that factious men with 
daggers interrupt the deliberations of the Senate. He 
authorizes you to employ force. The Assembly of Five 
Hundred is dissolved. ' ' The soldiers received his haran- 
gue with shouts of, ' 'Vive Bonaparte ! ' ' Still there was 
an appearance of hesitation, and it did not seem certain 
that they were ready to act against the representatives of 
the people, till lyUcien drew his sword, and vehemently 


exclaimed, ' 'I swear that I will stab my own brother to the 
heart, if he ever attempts anything against the liberty of 

This statement roused the soldiers to action and they 
were now ready to obey any order from Napoleon. At a 
signal from him, Murat, at the head of a body of grena- 
diers, at once started to execute the order of the president. 
With a roll of drums and leveled pieces, Lucien followed 
the detachment, mounted the tribune, and dispersed the 
Council of Five Hundred. The deputies were debating 
in a state of wild indecision and anxiety when the troops 
slowly entered. Murat, as they moved forward, 
announced to the Council that it should disperse. A few 
of the members instantly retired ; but the majority 
remained firm. A reinforcement now entered in close 
column headed by General Leclerc, the commanding offi- 
cer, who said loudly, "In the name of General Bonaparte, 
the lyCgislative Corps is dissolved ; let all good citizens 
retire. Grenadiers, forward!" The latter advanced, 
leveling their muskets with fixed bayonets and occupying 
the width of the hall. Most of the members at once 
made their escape by the windows with undignified rapid- 
ity ; in a few minutes not one remained. 

Lucien immediately assembled the "Moderate' ' members 
of the Council who resumed its session, and in conjunc- 
tion with that of the Ancients, a decree was passed invest- 
ing the entire authority of the State in a Provisional Con- 
sulate of three — Napoleon, Sieyes and Roger-Ducos who 
were known as ' ' Consuls of the French Republic. ' ' Thus 
ended the 1 8th and 19th Brumaire, (November loth and 
nth, 1799) one of the most decisive revolutions of which 
history has preserved any record ; and, so admirable had 


been the arrangements of Napoleon, that it had not cost 
France a drop of blood. "During the greater part of 
this eventful day," says Bourrienne, "he was as calm as 
at the opening of a great battle." 

The next day the three Consuls met at Paris, and 
France once more began to make progress. At this 
meeting, Sieyes, who had up to this moment conceived 
himself to be the head, and the others but the arms of the 
new constitution, asked, as a form of politeness, " Which 
of us is to preside ?" "Do you not see, ' ' answered Ducos, 
' ' that the general presides ?' ' 

Sieyes had expected that Napoleon would content him- 
self with the supreme command of all the armies, and had 
no idea that he was conversant with, or wished to interfere 
in profound and extensive political affairs and projects. 
He was, however, so astonished at the knowledge dis- 
played by Napoleon in questions of administration, even to 
the minutest details, and in every department, that when 
their first conference was concluded, he hurried to Talley- 
rand, Cabanis, and other counselors, assembled at St. 
Cloud, exclaiming, " Gentlemen, you have now a master. 
He knows everything,- arranges everything, and can 
accomplish everything. ' ' 

Those persons must know the character of Napoleon 
very imperfectly, who consider him great only at the head 
of armies ; for he was able to acquit himself of the various 
functions of government with glory, shining equally as 
conspicuous in the cabinet as in the field. 

Napoleon guided and controlled everything ; humane 
laws were enacted ; Christianity was again restored, and 
upwards of 20,000 French citizens now came forth from 
the prisons to bless his name. Many who had been exiled 


because they did not approve of the Reign of Terror and 
the despotism of the Directory were recalled, and many 
other salutary reforms at once stamped the new govern- 
ment with the seal of public approbation and the confi- 
dence of Europe. In everything that was done the 
genius of Napoleon was visible. A great man was 
at the helm, and the world saw that his creative 
genius was regenerating France. The new constitution 
met the approval of the people, and in February 1800 the 
First Consul took up his residence in the Tuileries, the 
old home of the monarchs of France. Shortly afterwards 
Napoleon reviewed the Army of Paris, amounting to 
100,000 men. When the 96th, 43rd and 50th demi- 
brigades defiled before him he was observed to take off 
his hat and incline his head, in token of respect at 
the sight of their colors torn to shreds with balls, and 
blackened with smoke and powder. 

For the first time in modern history the world saw 
the greatest general of the age the civil chief of the most 
brilliant state in Europe, The First Consul now held 
frequent and splendid reviews of the troops. He traversed 
the ranks, now on horseback, now on foot ; entered into 
the minutest details concerning the wants of the men and 
the service, and dispensing in the name of the nation, 
distinctions and rewards. A hundred soldiers who had 
signalized themselves in action, received from his hand 
the present of a handsome sabre each, on one of these 

The Parisians received the new constitution with delight. 
The inhabitants also viewed the pomp and splendor of the 
Consular government with suprise and self-complacency. 
They reasoned little and hoped much. Napoleon was theif 


idol, and from him alone they expected everything. The 
constitution continued the executive power in the hands of 
three consuls, who were to be elected for the space of ten 
years,and were then eligible to re-election. The First Con- 
sul held powers far superior to his colleagues. He alone had 
the right of nominating all offices, civil and military, and 
of appointing nearly all functionaries whatsoever. Napo- 
leon assumed the place of First Consul without question 
or debate. He then named Cambaceres and lyeBrun as 
Second and Third Consuls respectively. 

It was about this time that Napoleon learned of the 
death of Washington . He forthwith issued a general order 
commanding the French army to wrap their banners in 
crape during ten days in honor of " a great man who 
fought against tyranny, and consolidated the liberties of 
his country. ' ' He then celebrated a grand funeral service 
to the memory of Washington in the council-hall of the 
Invalides. The last standards taken in Egypt were pre- 
sented on the same occasion ; all the ministers, the coun- 
selors of state and generals, were present. The pillars 
and roof were hung with the trophies of the campaign of 
Italy and the bust of Washington was placed under the 
trophy composed of the flags of Aboukir. 

■' ' From this day, ' ' says I^ockhart, ' ' a new epoch was 
to date. Submit to that government, and no man need 
fear that his former acts, far less opinions, should prove 
any obstacle to his security — nay, to his advancement." 
In truth the secret of Bonaparte's whole scheme is unfolded 
in his own memorable words to Sieyes : ' ' We are creat- 
ing a new era — of the past we must forget the bad, and 
remember only the good." 


During the absence of Bonaparte in Egypt the tri-color 
which he had left floating on the castles along the Rhine, 
and from the Julian Alps to the Mediterranean, had been 
humbled, and England and Austria, with the allies they 
could bring into the coalition, were preparing once more 
to compel the French to retire to their ancient boundaries, 
and ultimately offer the crown to the exiled Bourbons. 

But Napoleon knew that France needed internal repose, 
and he desired universal peace in Europe. He even went so 
far, in order to bring this about, as to address a letter to 
George III. in which he said: "Your Majesty will 
see in this overture only v^y sincere desire to contribute 
effectually, for a second time, to a general pacification — 
by a prompt step taken in confidence, and freed from those 
forms, which, however necessary to disguise the feeble 
.apprehensions of feeble states, only serve to discover in 
the powerful a mutual wish to deceive. France and Eng- 
land, abusing their strength, may long defer the period 
of its utter exhaustion ; but I will venture to say that the 
fate of civilized nations is concerned in the termination of 
a war, the flames of which are raging throughout the 
whole world. I have the honor, etc., etc., Bonaparte;." 

If the king himself had had an opportunity to reply to 
this letter, as he afterwards admitted, it would have saved 
England millions of money, and Europe millions of lives; 
but in a very short-sighted letter, Eord Grenville, then 
Secretary of State, replied to Talleyrand, France's minis- 
ter of Foreign Aflairs, in which he said : "The war must 
continue until the causes which gave it birth cease to 
exist. The restoration of the exiled royal family will be the 
easiest means of giving confidence to the other powers of 
Europe. ' ' The refusal of England to treat with the Con- 


sular Government of France was to be expected, being 
perfectly in accord with the principles which guided th^ 
rulers of England at that period. They had joined the 
other governments of Europe in commencing war against 
France, in order to "restore its legitimate sovereign, con- 
trary to the will of the French people. 

When Napoleon read the letter he said : " I will answer 
that from Italy ! ' ' and immediately called his generals 
together and ordered them to get ready for another cam- 
paign beyond the Alps. It is said that on receiving the 
reply from England Napoleon exclaimed to Talleyrand, 
"It could not have been more favorable," but this is 
credited by but few historians as it appears that his sincere 
convictions were that peace was best for France. 

Three days after the Grenville letter, the First Con- 
sul electrified France by an edict for an army of reserve 
embracing all the veterans then unemployed, who had ever 
served the country, and a new levy of 30,000 recruits or 
conscripts as they were termed ; and the most active prep- 
arations were rapidly made. At this time four great 
armies were already in the field — one on the North coast 
was watching Holland, and guarding against any inva- 
sion from England ; Jourdan commanded the Army of 
the Danube, which had repassed the Rhine ; Massena 
was at the head of the Army of Helvetia, and held Swit- 
zerland ; and the fragment of the mighty host that Napo- 
leon had himself led to victory, still called the Army of 

Upwards of 350,000 men were now marched to various 
points of conflict with the European powers — England, 
Austria and Russia, together with Bavaria, Sweden, Den- 
mark, and Turkey, which made a formidable array of 


enemies with whom Napoleon had to contend. The opera- 
tions were conducted with the utmost secrecy-. Napoleon 
had decided to strike the decisive blow against Austria 
in Italy, and to command there in person. An article in 
the new constitution forbade the First Consul taking the 
command of an army but he found a ready way to evade 
it. Berthier was superseded by Carnot as minister of war 
and given the nominal command of the Army of Italy. 
It was generally believed that the troops were to advance 
upon Italy. Meantime , while Austria was laughing 
with derision at the French conscripts and "invalids" then 
at Dijon and amused itself with caricatures of some ancient 
men with wooden legs, and little boys twelve years old 
entitled " Bonaparte's Army of Reserve," the real Army 
of Italy was already formed in the heart of France and 
was marching by various roads towards Switzerland and 
was commanded by officers of recognized ability and 
courage. The artillery was sent piecemeal from different 
arsenals ; the provisions, necessary to an army about to 
2ross barren mountains, were forwarded to Geneva, 
embarked on the lake, and landed at Villeneuve, near the 
entrance of the valley of the Simplon. 

The daring plan of Napoleon was to transport his army 
across the Alps ; surmounting the highest chain of mount- 
ains in Europe, by paths which are dangerous and diffi- 
::ult to the unencumbered traveler ; to plant himself in 
the rear of the Austrians, interrupt their communications, 
place them between his own army and that of Massena 
who was in command of the 12,000 men at Genoa, cut 
off their retreat and then give them battle under circum- 
stances which must necessarily render one defeat decisive. 


After dispatching his orders Napoleon joined Berthier 
at Geneva on May 8th, 1800. Here he met General 
Marescot, the engineer, who by his orders had explored 
the wild passes of the Alps. He described to the First 
Consul most minutely the all but insuperable obstacles 
that would oppose the passage of an army. 

' ' Dif&cult, granted ; but is it possible for an army to 
pass ? ' ' Napoleon at last impatiently inquired. 

' ' It might be done, ' ' was the answer. 

"Then it shall be ; let us start," said the First Consul, 
and preparations for that most herculean task were at once 
made, the commander intending to penetrate into Italy, 
as Hannibal had done of old, through all the dangers and 
difficulties of the great Alps themselves. 

For the treble purpose of more easily collecting a 
a sufficient stock of provisions for the march, of making 
its accomplishment more rapid, and on perplexing the , 
enemy on its termination, Napoleon determined that his 
army should pass in four divisions, by as many separate 
routes. The left wing, under Moncey consisting of 15,000 
men, detatched from the army of Moreau, was ordered to 
debouch by the way of St. Gothard. The corps of 
Thureau, 5,000 strong, took the direction of Mount 
Cenis ; that of Chabran, of similar strength, moved by 
the Little St. Bernard. Of the main body, consisting of 
35,000 men, although technically commanded by Berthier, 
the First Consul himself took charge, including the gigantic 
task of surmounting, with the artillery, the huge barriers 
of the Great St. Bernard. Once across he expected to 
rush down upon Melas, cut off all his communications 
with Austria, and then force him to a conflict. 



The main body of the army marched on the 15th of May 
from Lausanne to the village of St. Pierre, at the foot of the 
Great St. Bernard, at which point all traces of a practicable 
path entirely ceased. Field forges were established at St. 
Pierre to dismount the guns. The carriages and wheels 
were slung on poles and the ammunition boxes were to be 
carried by mules. To convey the pieces themselves a 
number of trees were felled, hollowed out, or grooved, 
and the guns being jammed within these rough cases, a 
hundred soldiers were attached to each whose duty it was 
to drag them up the steeps. All was now in readiness to 
commence the great march. 

' 'The First Consul set forth on his stupendous enter- 
prise," says Botta in his description of this campaign, 
' 'his forces being already at the foot of the Great St. Ber- 
nard. The soldiers gazed on the aerial summits of the 
lofty mountains with wonder and impatience. On the 
1 7th of May the whole body set out from Martigny for 
the conquest of Italy. Extraordinary was their order, 
wonderful their gaiety, and astonishing also, the activity 
and energy of their operations. I,aughter and song light- 
ened their toils. They seemed to be hastening, not to a 
fearful war, but a festival. The multitude of various 
and mingled sounds were re-echoed from hill to hill, and 
the silence of these solitary and desolate regions, which 
revolving ages had left undisturbed, was for the moment 
broken by the rejoicing voices of the gay and warlike. 
Precipitous heights, strong torrents, sloping valleys, 
succeeded each other with disheartening frequency. 
Owing to his incredible boldness and order, lyannes was 
chosen by the First Consul to take the lead in every 
enterprise of danger. They had now reached an eleva- 


tion where skill or courage seemed powerless against the 
domain of Nature. From St. Pierre to the summit of 
the Great St. Bernard there is no beaten road whatever, 
until the explorer reaches the monastery of the religious 
order devoted to the preservation of travelers bewildered 
in these regions of eternal winter. Kvery means that 
could be devised was adopted for transporting the artil- 
lery and baggage ; the carriages which had been wheeled 
were now dragged — those which had been drawn were 
now carried. The largest cannon were placed in troughs 
and on sledges, and the smallest swung on sure-footed 
mules. The ascent to be accomplished was immense. In 
the windings of the tortuous paths the troops were now 
lost and now revealed to sight. Those who first mounted 
the steeps, seeing their companions in the depths below, 
cheered them on with shouts of triumph. The valleys 
on every side re-echoed to their voices. Amidst the snow, 
in mists and clouds, the resplendent arms and colored uni- 
forms of the soldiers appeared in bright and dazzling con- 
trast : the sublimity of dead Nature and the energy of 
living action thus united, formed a spectacle of surpassing 

"The Consul, exulting in the success of his plans, was seen 
everywhere amongst the soldiers, talking with military 
familiarity to one and now another, and, skilled in the elo- 
quence of camps, he so excited their courage that, brav- 
ing every obstacle, they now deemed that easy which 
they had adjudged impossible. They soon approached 
the highest summit, and discerned in the distance the pass 
which leads from the opening between the towering moun- 
tains to the loftiest pinnacle. With shouts of transport 
they hailed this extreme point as the termination of their 


labors and with new ardor prepared to ascend. When 
their strength occasionally flagged under excess of 
fatigues, they beat their drums, and then, reanimated by 
the spirit-stirring sound, proceeded forward with fresh 

' 'At last they reached the summit and there felicitated 
each other as if after a complete and assured victory. 
Their hilarity was not a little increased by finding a sim- 
ple repast prepared in front of the monastery, the provi- 
dent Consul having furnished the monks with money to 
supply what their own resources could not have afforded 
for such numbers. Here they were regaled with wine 
and bread and cheese, enjoyed a brief repose amid dis- 
mounted cannon and scattered baggage, amidst ice and 
conglomerated snow ; while the monks passed from troop 
to troop in turn, the calm of religious cheerfulness depicted 
on their countenances. Thus did goodness and power 
meet and hold communion on this extreme summit." 

The troops made it a point of honor not to leave their 
guns in the rear; and one division, rather than abandon 
its artillery, chose to pass the night upon the summit of 
a mountain, in the midst of snow and excessive cold. 

Thus did this brave army reach the Hospice of St. Ber- 
nard, singing amidst the precipices, dreaming of the con- 
quest of that Italy where they had so often tasted the 
delights of victory, and having a noble presentiment of 
the immortal glory which they were about to acquire ; 
as they climbed up and along air)^ ridgqs of rock and eter- 
nal snow, where the goatherd, the hunter of the chamois, 
and the outlaw smuggler, are alone accustomed to ven- 
ture ; amidst precipices where to slip a foot is death ; 
beneath glaciers from which the percussion of a musket- 
shot is often sufficient to hurl an avalanche. 


The labor was not so great for the infantry, of which there 
were 35,000 including artillery. As for the 5,000 cavalry, 
these walked, leading their horses by the bridle. 
There was no danger in ascending but in the descent, the 
path being very narrow, obliging them to walk before 
the horse, they were liable, if the animal made a false 
step, to be dragged by him into the abyss. Some acci- 
dents of this kind, not many, did actually happen, and 
some horses perished but scarcely any of the men. 

After a brief rest at the hospice the army resumed its 
march and descended to St. Remy without any unpleas- 
ant accident. Napoleon rested and took a frugal repast at 
the convent, after which he visited the chapel, and the 
three little libraries, lingering a short time to read a few 
pages of some old book. He performed the descent on a 
sledge, down a glacier of nearly a hundred yards, almost 
perpendicular. The whole army effected the passage of 
the Great St. Bernard in the space of three days. 

The transfer of the gun carriages, ammunition wagons 
and cannon was the most difficult of all, but the genius of 
Napoleon accomplished even this seemingly impossible feat. 
The peasants of the environs were offered as high as a 
thousand francs for every piece of cannon which they suc- 
ceeded in dragging from St. Pierre to St. Remy. It took 
a hundred men to drag each ; one day to get it up and 
another to get it down. 

It has been said that Napoleon had his fortune to make at 
this period; but, at the moment of crossing Mount St. Ber- 
nard, he had fought twenty pitched battles, conquered 
Italy, dictated peace to Austria, — only sixty miles distant 
from Vienna, — negotiated at Rastadt, with Count Cobent- 
zel for the surrender of the strong city of Mentz, raised 


nearly three hundred milhons in contributions, — which 
had served to supply the army during two years, — created 
the CisalpineArmy, and paid some of the officers of the 
government at Paris. He had sent to the museum three 
hundred chef d'oSuvres, in statuary and painting ; added 
to which he had conquered Egypt, suppressed the factions 
at home and totally eradicated the war in La Vendee. 

Napoleon has been pictured crossing the Alpine heights 
mounted on a fiery steed. As a matter of fact he avScended 
the Great St. Bernard in that gray surtout which he usu- 
ally wore, sometimes upon foot, and again upon a mule, 
led by a guide belonging to the country, evincing even in 
the difficult passes the abstraction of mind occupied else- 
where, conversing with the officers scattered on the road, 
and then, at intervals, questioning the guide who attended 
him, making him relate the particulars of his life, his 
pleasures, his pains, like an idle traveler who has nothing 
better to do. "This guide," says Thiers, "who was 
quite young, gave him a simple recital of the details of 
his obscure existence, and especially the vexation he felt 
because, for want of a little money, he could not marry 
one of the girls of his valley. The First Consul, some- 
times listening, sometimes questioning the passengers with 
whom the mountain was covered, arrived at the hospice, 
where the worthy monks gave him a warm reception. 
No sooner had he alighted from his mule than he wrote 
a note which he handed to his guide, desiring him to be 
sure and deliver it to the quartermaster of the army, who 
had been left on the other side of the St. Bernard. In 
the evening the young man, on returning to St. Pierre, 
learned with surprise what powerful traveler it was whom 
he had guided in the morning, and that General Bona- 


parte had ordered that a house and a piece of ground 
should be given to him immediately, and that he should be 
supplied, in short, with the means requisite for marrying, 
and for realizing all the dreams of his modest ambition." 

This mountaineer lived for a number of years, and when 
he died was still the owner of the land given him by the 
First Consul. The only thing remembered by this attend- 
ant in after years of the conversation of Napoleon 
during his trip was, when shaking the rain-water from his 
hat he exclaimed, "There! See what I have done in 
your mountains — spoiled my new hat ! — Well, I will find 
another on the other side." 

The passage of the Alps had been achieved long before 
the Austrians knew Napoleon's army was in motion. So 
utterly unexpected was this sudden apparition of the First 
Consul and his army, that no precaution whatever had 
been taken, and no enemy appeared capable of disputing 
his march towards the valley of Aosta. After a brief 
engagement at the fortress of St. Bard and other minor 
battles in which the French were victorious, they now 
advanced, unopposed down the valley to Ivrea which was 
without a garrison. Here Napoleon remained four days 
to recruit the strength of his troops. 

Napoleon now took the road for Milan. The Sesia was 
crossed without opposition ; the passage of the Tesino 
was effected after a sharp conflict with a body of Austrian 
cavalry, who were put to flight ; and, on the 2d of June, 
the First Consul entered Milan, amidst enthusiastic 
acclamations of the people, who had all believed that he 
had died in Egypt and that it was one of his brothers who 
commanded this army. He was conducted in triumph to 
the ducal palace, where he took up his residence. He 


remained six days in Milan during which time he gained 
the most important information, all the dispatches between 
the court of Vienna and General Melas falling into his 
hands. From these he learned the extent of the Austrian 
reinforcements now on their way to Italy ; the position 
and state of all the Austrian depots, field-equipages, 
and parks of artillery ; and the amount and distribution of 
the whole Austrian force. Finally, he clearly perceived 
that Melas still continued in complete ignorance of the 
Strength and destination of the French army. His dis- 
patches spoke with contempt of what he called ' ' the pre- 
tended army of reserve," and treated the assertion of 
Napoleon's presence in Italy as a "mere fabrication." 
Possessed of all this valuable information Napoleon 
knew how to proceed with clearness and precision. 

The eyes of the Austrian general were at length opened 
and he was preparing to meet the emergency with all the 
energy that the orders from Vienna and his great age of 
eighty years permitted ; but his delay had been sufficient 
to render his situation critical. His army was divided into 
two portions, one under Ott near Genoa ; the other, 
under his own command at Turin. The greatest risk 
existed that Napoleon would, according to his old plan, 
attack and destroy one division before the other could 
form a junction with it. To prevent such a disaster, Ott 
received orders to march forward on the Tesino, while 
Melas, moving towards Alessandria, prepared to resume 
his communications with the other division of his army. 

Napoleon now advanced to Stradella where headquarters 
were fixed. On the 9th of June, I^annes, who continued to 
lead the van-guard of the French army was attacked by 
an Austrian division superior in numbers and com- 


manded by Ott. The battle, though severely contested, 
ended in the complete defeat of the Austrians, who lost 
three thousand killed and six thousand prisoners. The 
battle of Montebello was won by sheer hard fighting, 
there being little opportunity for skill or manoeuvre, the 
fields being covered with full-grown crops of rye. The 
shower of balls from the Austrian musketry was at one 
time so intense, that I^annes, speaking of it afterwards, 
described its effect with a horrible graphic homeliness, 
"Bones were cracking in my division" he said, "like a 
shower of hail upon a skylight." I^annes was subse- 
quently created Duke of Montebello. 

Napoleon remained stationary for three days at Stra- 
della, employing the time in concentrating his army, in 
hopes that Melas would be compelled to give him battle 
in this position ; he was unwilling to descend into the 
great plain of Marengo, where the Austrian cavalry and 
artillery which was greatly superior in numbers, would 
have a fearful advantage. Meanwhile he dispatched an 
order to Suchet to march on the river Scrivia, and place 
himself in the rear of the enemy. 

General Desaix now joined the army with his aides- 
de-camp Rapp and Savary, he having returned from 
Egypt and landed in France almost on the very day that 
Napoleon left Paris, and had immediately received a sum- 
mons from him to repair to the headquarters of the Army 
of Italy, wherever they might be situated. Desaix and 
Napoleon were warmly attached to each other and their 
meeting was a great and mutual pleasure. Desaix was 
appointed to the command of a division, the death of 
General Boudet having left one vacant, and was extremely 
anxious to signalize himself. Under the impression that 

t64 military career OF 

the Austrians were marching upon Genoa, Napoleon 
dispatched Desaix's division in form of the van-guard 
upon his extreme left, while Victor, arriving at Marengo 
from Montebello, where he had assisted Lannes, routed a 
rear guard of four or five thousand Austrians and made 
himself master of the village of Marengo. 

The French, and Austrian armies finally came together 
on June 14th on the plains of Marengo, to decide the fate 
of Italy. 

Marengo was a day ever to be remembered by those who 
participated in the stubborn struggle. Napoleon fought 
against terrible odds in numbers and position. A furious 
cannonading opened the engagement at daybreak along 
the whole front, cannon and musketry spreading devasta- 
tion everywhere — for the armies were but a short distance 
apart, their pieces in some cases almost touching. The 
advance under Gardanne, was obliged to fall back upon 
Victor, — who had been stationed with the main body of the 
first line, — for more than two hours and withstood singly 
the vigorous assaults of a far superior force ; Marengo 
had been taken and retaken several times by Victor ere 
Lannes, who was in the rear of him, in command of the 
second line, received orders to reinforce him. The second 
line was at length ordered by Napoleon to advance, 
but they found the first in retreat, and the two corps took 
up a second line of defense, considerably to the rear of 
Marengo. Here they were again charged furiously, and 
again after obstinate resistance, gave way. The retreat 
now became general, although lyannes fell back in perfect 

The Austrians had fought the battle admirably. Their 
infantry had opened an attack on every point of the 


French line, while the cavalry debouched across the bridge 
which the French had failed to destroy, and assailed the 
right of their army with such fury and rapidity that it 
was thrown into complete disorder. The attack of the 
Austrians was successful everywhere ; the centre of the 
French was penetrated, the left routed, and another des- 
perate charge of the cavalry would have terminated the 
battle. The order for this, however, was not given ; but 
the retreating French were still in the utmost peril. Napo- 
leon had been collecting reserves between Garafolo and 
Marengo and now sent orders for his army to retreat 
towards these reserves, and rally round his guard which 
he stationed in the rear of the village of Marengo and 
placed himself at their head. 

To secure a position more favorable for resisting the 
overpowering numbers of the enemy, Bonaparte now 
seized a defile flanked by the village of Marengo, shut up 
on one side by a wood and on the other by lofty and 
bushy vineyards. Here from the astonishing exertions 
of their commander the French made a firm stand, and 
fought bayonet to bayonet with Austrian infantry, whilst 
exposed at the same time to a battery of thirty pieces of 
cannon, which was playing upon them with deadly 
effect. Every soldier seemed to consider this the defile of 
Thermopylae, where they were to fight until all were 
slain. With a heroism worthy of the Spartan band they 
withstood the tremendous shock of bayonets and artillery, 
the latter not only cutting the men in pieces, but 
likewise the trees, the large branches in falling killing 
many of the wounded soldiers who had sought a refuge 
under them. At this awful moment Bonaparte, unmoved, 
seemed to court death, and be near it, the bullets being 


observed repeatedly to tear up the ground beneath his 
horse's feet. Alarmed for his safety the officers exhorted 
him to retire, exclaiming, ' ' If you should be killed all 
would be lost. ' ' But the hero of lyodi and Areola would not 
retire. Undismayed and unmoved amidst this dreadful 
tempest, he observed every movement and gave orders 
with the utmost coolness. The soldiers could all see the 
First Consul with his staff, surrounded by the two hundred 
grenadiers of the guard and the sight kept their hopes 
from flagging. The right wing, under lyannes, quickly 
rallied ; the centre, reinforced by the scattered troops of the 
left, recovered its strength : the left wing no longer 
existed ; its scattered remains fled in disorder, pursued by 
the Austrians. The contest continued to rage, and was 
obstinately disputed ; but the main body of the French 
army, which still remained in order of battle, was con- 
tinually, though very slowly, retreating. 

The First Consul now dispatched his aide-de-camp, 
Bruyere, to Desaix, with an urgent message to hasten to 
tiie field of battle. Desaix on his part, had been arrested 
in his march upon Novi, by the repeated discharges of 
distant artillery ; he had in consequence made a halt, 
and dispatched Savary, then his aide-de-camp, with a 
body of fifty horse, to gallop with all possible haste to 
Novi, ascertain the state of affairs there, according to the 
orders of Napoleon, while he kept his division fresh and 
ready for action. 

Savary found all quiet at Novi ; and returning to 
Desaix, after the lapse of about two hours, with this 
intelligence, was next sent to the First Consul. He 
spurred his horse across the country, in the direction of 
Marengo, and fortunately met General Bruyere, who was 


taking the same short cut to find Desaix. Giving him 
the necessar}^ directions, Savary now hastened towards 
Napoleon. He found him in the midst of his guard, who 
stood their ground on the field of battle ; forming a solid 
body in the face of the enemy's fire, the dismounted 
grenadiers were stationed in front and the place of each 
man who fell was instantly supplied from the ranks 

Maps were spread out before Napoleon ; he was plan- 
ning the movement which was to decide the action. Sav- 
ary made his report and told him of Desaix' s position. 

' ' At what hour did he leave you ? ' ' said the First 
Consul pulling out his watch. Having been informed he 
continued, "Well he cannot be far off; go, and tell him 
to form in that direction (pointing with his hand to a 
particular spot) ; let him quit the main road, and make 
way for all those wounded men, who would only embarrass 
him, and perhaps draw his own soldiers after them." 

It was now three o'clock in the afternoon ; had Melas 
pursued the advantage with all his reserve the battle was 
won to the Austrians; but that aged general (he was eighty 
years old) doubted not that he had won it already. At 
this critical moment, being quite worn out with fatigue, 
he retired to the rear leaving General Zach to continue 
what he now considered a mere pursuit. 

Napoleon's army was still slowly retiring from the 
field, one corps occupying three hours in retiring three 
quarters of a league, when Desaix, whose division was now 
forming on the left of the centre, rode up to the com- 
mander, and taking out his watch, said in reply to a ques- 
tion : "Yes, the battle is lost ; but it is only three o'clock ; 
there is time enough to gain another ! ' ' 


Bonaparte was delighted with the opinion of Desaix, 
whose division had arrived at a full gallop after a force 
march of thirty miles, and prepared to avail himself of' 
the timely succor brought to him by that far-seeing gen- 
eral, and of the advantage insured to him by the position 
he had lately taken. Napoleon quickly explained the 
manoeuvre he was about to effect and gave the orders 
instantly. He now drew up his army on a third line of 
battle, and riding along said to the different corps : "Sold- 
iers ! We have fallen back far enough. You know it is 
always my custom to sleep on the field of battle. ' ' The 
whole army now wheeled its front up the left wing of its 
centre, moving its right wing forward at the same time. 
By this movement Napoleon effected the double object of 
turning all the enemy's troops, who had continued the 
pursuit of the broken left wing and of removing his right 
at a distance from the bridge, which had been so fatal to 
him in the morning. The artillery of the guard was rein- 
forced by that which belonged to Desaix 's division, and 
forme^ an overwhelming battery in the centre. 

The Austrians made no effort to prevent this decisive 
movement ; they supposed the First Consul was only occu- 
pied in securing his retreat. Their infantry, in deep 
close columnSjWas advancing rapidly, when at the distance 
of a hundred paces they suddenly halted, on perceiving 
Desaix' s division exactly in front of them. The unex- 
pected appearance of six thousand fresh troops, and the 
new position assumed by the French, arrested the battle : 
very few shots were heard ; the two armies were prepar- 
ing for a last effort. 

The First Consul rode up in person to give the order of 
attack while he dispatched Savary with commands to 


Kellerman, who was at the head of about six thousand 
heavy cavalry-, to charge the Austrian column in flank, 
at the same time Desaix charged it in front. Both gener- 
als effected the movement rapidly and so successfully that 
in less than half an hour the French had put the enemy to 
rout on nearly all sides. A final charge was now made, 
when Desaix, whose timely arrival with reinforcements 
had saved the day, and who was then in the thickest of 
the engagement, was shot dead, just as he led a fresh col- 
umn of 5,000 grenadiers to meet and check the advance of 
Zach. But a few moments before Desaix said to Savary, 
"Go and tell the First Consul that I am charging, and 
that I am in want of cavalry to support me." As the 
brave man fell he said: "Conceal my death, it might 
dishearten the troops." Napoleon embraced him for an 
instant, and said, as his eyes filled with tears : ' 'Alas, I 
must not weep now — "and mounting his horse again 
plunged into the thickest of the battle. 

The whole army fought with renewed vigor on learning 
of Desaix 's death, every soldier being bent on avenging 
individually the loss of their leader. The combined 
forces now concentrated themselves and hurled their invin- 
cible columns upon the Austrian lines, marching victori- 
ous at last over thousands of slain. General Zach, and all 
his staff , were here made prisoners. The Austrian col- 
umns behind, being flushed with victory, were advanc- 
ing too carelessly, and were unable to resist the general 
assault of the whole French line, which now pressed 
onward under the immediate command of Napoleon. 
Post after post was carried. The terrified cavalry and 
broken infantry fled in confusion to the banks of the Bor- 
mida, into which they were plunged by the French cav- 


airy who swept the field. The Bormida was clogged and 
crimsoned with corpses, and whole corps, being unable to 
effect the passage, surrendered. The victory , which had / 
seemed quite secure to the Austrians at 3 o'clock was com- ' 
pletely won by the French at six. Napoleon's conduct 
throughout the day and the bravery of his troops were 
beyond all praise ; and it is no less a fact, that the appear- 
ance of victory in one or two parts of the extended field 
roused the courage of the Austrians to enthusiasm and in 
some cases fatal recklessness They pressed forward to 
complete their triumph when the Consular guard, called 
the "wall of granite," met and successfully resisted the 
shock. The eye of Napoleon fixed the fortune of the day: 
he foresaw that the enemy, in the ardor of success, would 
extend his line too far ; and what he had conjectured hap- 
pened. Then it was that Desaix's division rushed amidst 
the all but triumphant foe, divided his ranks, and finally 
completed his ruin. 

In this sanguine engagement the Austrians lost about 
8,000 men in killed and wounded, and 4,000 more were 
taken prisoners — one-third of their army. The life of 
Desaix was the sacrifice. The French loss amounted to 
6,000 killed or wounded and about 1,000 of them were 
taken prisoners, a loss of about one-fourth out of 28,000 
soldiers present at the battle. 

In the estimation of the First Consul this loss was great 
enough to diminish the joy that he felt for the victory. 
When Bourrienne, his secretary, congratulated him on 
his triumph saying, "What a glorious day ! " he replied : 
"Yes it would have been glorious indeed, could I but 
have embraced Desaix this evening on the field of battle. 
I was going to make him minister of war ; I would have 


made him a prince if I could." The triumph of this 
decisive victory was poisoned by Desaix's death. It 
seems that he never loved, nor regretted, any man so 
much and he never spoke of him without deep feeling. 
Desaix met his death at the early age of thirty-three, 
and France lost in him a great general and a man of rare 
promise. Savary, who was much attached to him, sought 
for his body amongst the dead, and found him completely 
stripped of his clothes, lying among many others in the 
same condition. " France has lost one one of her most 
able defenders and I my best friend, ' ' Napoleon said after 
the battle; " No one has ever known how much good- 
ness there was in Desaix's heart ; how much genius in 
his head." Then after a short silence, with tears start- 
ing into his eyes, he added, ' ' My brave Desaix always 
wished to die thus ; but death should not have been so 
ready to execute his wish. ' ' 

Though the vast plain of Marengo was drenched with 
French blood, joy pervaded the army. Soldiers and 
generals alike were merited for their gallant conduct and 
were fully aware of the importance of the victory to 
France. Thus ended the battle of Marengo, one of the 
most decisive which had been fought in Europe, and one 
which opened to Napoleon the gates of all the principal 
cities of northern Italy. By one battle he regained nearly 
all that the French had lost in the unhappy Italian cam- 
paign of 1799 while he was in Egypt. He had 
also shown that the French troops were once more what 
they had been when he was in the field to command them. 

In talking with Gohier one day, Napoleon said : " It is 
always the greater number which defeats the lesser. ' ' 



' ' And yet, ' ' said Gohier, ' ' with small armies you have 
frequently defeated large ones. " "Even then," replied 
Napoleon, "it is always the inferior force which was 
defeated by the superior. When with a small body of 
men I was in the presence of a large one, collecting my. 
little band, I fell like lightning on one of the wings of the 
hostile army, and defeated it. Profiting by the disorder , 
which such an event never failed to occasion in their 
whole line, I repeated the attack, with similar success, in 
another quarter, still with my whole force. I thus beat 
it in detail. The general victory which was the result 
was still an example of the truth of the principle, that 
the greater force defeats the lesser. ' ' One of his favorite 
maxims is said to have been, "God always favors the 
heaviest battalions." 

The Austrians were completely enveloped, and had no 
alternative but to submit to the law of the conqueror. 
Melas sent a flag of truce to Napoleon at daybreak on the 
following morning, and peace negotiations were at once 
began. In the meeting which followed Bonaparte 
required that all the fortresses of I^iguria, Piedmont, IvOm- 
bardy and the lyCgations should be immediately given up 
to France, and that the Austrians should evacuate all 
Italy as far as the Mincio. 

The surrender of Genoa was strongly objected to by 
Melas, but the conqueror would not waive this 
point. The baron sent his principal negotiator to make 
some remonstrances against the proposed armistice: 
"Sir," said the First Consul with some warmth, "my 
conditions are irrevocable. It was not yesterday that I 
began my military life ; your position is as well known 
to me as to yourselves. You are in Alessandria, encum- 


bered with dead, wounded, sick, destitute of provisions ; 
you have lost the best troops of your army, and are sur- 
rounded on all sides. There is nothing that I might not 
require, but I respect the gray hair of your general, 
and the valor of your troops, and I require, nothing 
more than is imperatively demanded by the present 
situation of affairs. Return to Alessandria ; do what 
you will, you shall have no other conditions." 

The treaty of peace was signed at Alessandria, the 
same day, June 15th, 1800, as originally proposed by 
General Bonaparte. He then started for Paris by way of 
Milan, where preparations had been made for a solemn 
Te Deum in the ancient cathedral, and at which the First 
Consul was present. He found the city illuminated, and 
ringing with the most enthusiastic rejoicings. The 
streets were lined with people who greeted him with 
shouts of welcome. Draperies were hung from the win- 
dows, which were crowded by women of the first rank 
and who threw flowers into his carriage as he passed. 
He set off for Paris on the 24th of June and arrived at 
the French capital in the night between the 2nd and 3rd 
of July, having been absent less than two months. Mas- 
sena remained as Commander-in-chief of the Army of 

To one of his traveling companions with whom he con- 
versed on the journey to Paris about his remarkable vic- 
tory at Marengo, he said: "Well, a few grand deeds 
like this campaign and I may be known to posterity. ' ' 
" It seems to me," said his companion, " that you have 
already done enough to be talked about everywhere for a 
time." " Done enough," said Bonaparte quickly, "You 
are very kind ! To be sure in less than two years I have 


conquered Cairo, Paris and Milan ; well, my dear fellow, 
if I were to die to-morrow, after ten centuries I shouldn't 
fill half a page in a universal history ! ' ' 

At night the city of Paris was brilliantly illuminated 
and the inhabitants turned out en masse. Night after 
night every house was illuminated. The people were so 
anxious to show their pleasure at Napoleon's miraculous 
victory that they stood in crowds around the palace con- 
tented if they could but catch a glimpse of the preserver 
of France. These receptions so deeply touched him that 
twenty years afterwards, in loneliness and in exile, a prisoner 
at St. Helena, he mentioned it as one of the proudest and 
happiest moments of his life. 

On the day following his return to the capital the presi- 
dent of the Senate — the entire body having waited upon 
him in state — complimented the conqueror of Marengo in 
language such as kings were formerly addressed in, 
and in closing his address said : ' ' We take pleasure 
in acknowledging that to you the country owes its salva- 
tion ; that to you the Republic will owe its consolidation, 
and the people a prosperity, which you have in one 
day made to succeed ten years of the most stormy of 
revolutions. ' ' 

In November following Napoleon's return to the capital 
he received a letter addressed to him by Count de Lille 
(afterwards L,ouis XVIII.) which the exiled prince of the 
House of Bourbon evidently believed would place him on 
the throne of France. He said : ' ' You are very tardy 
about restoring my throne to me ; it is to be feared that 
you may let the favorable moment slip. You cannot 
establish the happiness of France without me ; and I, on 


the other hand, can do nothing for France without you. 
Make haste, then, and point out, yourself, the posts and 
dignities which will satisfy you and your friends. ' ' 

The First Consul answered thus : "I have received 
your Royal Highness' letter. I have always taken a lively 
interest in your misfortunes and those of your family. 
You must not think of appearing in France — -you could not 
do so without marching over five hundred thousand corpses. 
For the rest, I shall always be zealous to do whatever lies 
in my power towards softening your Royal Highness' 
destinies, and making you forget, if possible, your mis- 
forunes. Bonaparte." 

The battle of Marengo was celebrated at Paris by a fete 
on the 14th of July, which presented a singularly interest- 
ing spectacle owing to the appearance of the ' ' wall of 
granite," the members of which, just as the games were 
about to begin, marched into the field. The sight of those 
soldiers, covered with the dust of their march, sun-burned 
and powder-stained, and bearing marks of heroic deeds 
on the battle-field, formed a scene so truly affecting that 
the populace could not be restrained by the guards from 
violating the limits, in order to take a nearer view of those 
interesting heroes. 



Napoleon had now reached such a point of power that 
the Bourbons resigned all hopes of restoration through his 
agency, and as the next best means of obtaining control 
of tlie throne of France assassination was decided upon. 


The First Consul had scarcely been in Paris a month, after 
the engagement at Marengo when Ceracchi, a sculptor of 
some fame, attempted Bonaparte's life as he was 
entering the theatre. But for his betrayal by a co-conspir- 
ator the plot would have succeeded. This attempt by 
means of the dagger was followed by the explosion of an 
infernal machine, which consisted of a barrel of gun- 
powder surrounded by an immense quantity of grape shot. 
On the night of October loth the machine was placed at 
Nacaise, a narrow street through which Napoleon was to 
pass on his way to the opera house. 

Some years later, in telling of the narrow escape he had 
on that night, he said : "I had been hard at work all 
day, and was so overpowered by sleep after dinner that 
Josephine, who was quite anxious to go to the opera that 
night, found it quite difficult to arouse me and per- 
suade me to go. I fell asleep again after we had entered 
the carriage, and I was dreaming of the danger I had 
undergone some years before in crossing the Tagliamento 
at midnight by the light of torches, during a flood, when 
I was waked by the explosion of the infernal machine. 
' We are blown up,' I said to Bessieres and Lannes, who 
were in the carriage, and then quickly commanded the 
coachman to drive on. " 

The coachman, who was intoxicated, heard the order, 
and having mistaken the explosion for a salute, lashed 
his horses furiously until the theatre was reached. The 
machine had been fired by a slow match, and the explo- 
sion took place just twenty seconds too soon. Summary 
justice was executed upon the perpetrators of this infa- 
mous deed, and some time later the Duke d' Bnghien 
atoned for the part, whatever it might have been, that the 
Bourbons had taken in these murderous schemes. 


Austria delai^ed for several months final negotiations of 
the treaty agreed upon after the engagement at Marengo, 
evidently reassured by the attempts made on the First 
Consul's life. Preliminaries of peace had been signed at 
Paris, between the Austrian general, Saint Julian, and the 
French government. Duroc was dispatched to the Bmperor 
of Austria, to obtain his ratification of the articles; but 
having reached the headquarters of the Army of the Rhine, 
he was refused a pass to proceed on his journey. 

Napoleon immediately ordered Moreau to recommence 
hostilities, unless the Emperor delivered up the fortresses 
ofUlm, Ingolstadt and Phillipsburg as pledges of his 
sincerity. Austria, accordingly, purchased a further pro- 
traction of the armistice at this heavy price ; at the same 
time offering to treat for peace on new grounds. News of 
the occupation of the three fortresses by the French troops, 
was announced in Paris on the 23d of September 1800, 
where the fresh hopes of peace caused universal satisfaction. 

These hopes,however, proved delusive. Austria delayed 
and equivocated, until it became evident the Bmperor 
would make no peace separate from England, and that 
the latter power was prepared to support her ally. 

Napoleon, perceiving thut he was being trifled with, 
now gave orders (in November, 1800) to all his generals 
to put their divisions in march all along the frontiers of 
the French dominions. The shock was instantaneous, 
from the Rhine to the Mincio. Brune overwhelmed the 
Austrians on the Mincio ; Macdonald held the Tyrol, and 
Moreau achieved the glorious victory of Hohenlinden 
after a desperate and most sanguinary battle. This latter 
contest decided the fate of the campaign. Thus with 
three victorious armies, either of which could have 


marched triumphantly into Vienna, Napoleon hesitated 
long enough before taking that final step, to allow Aus- 
tria to sign an honest and definite peace. The treaty of 
lyuneville was at last signed in good faith on February 9th, 
1 80 1. By the peace of lyUneville, Napoleon for the second 
time effected the pacification of the Continent. Of all the 
powerful coalition which threatened France in 1800, 
England alone continued hostile in 1801 if we except 
Turkey, with which no arrangement could be made until 
the affairs of Egypt were settled. 

On the 8th of March, 1801, a British army of 17,000 men 
landed in Egypt under the command of Sir Ralph Aber- 
cromby. The French were very ill-prepared for an 
attack. The English army overcame the resistance of the 
forces which opposed their landing through the heavy surf 
formed on the beach, and advanced upon their enemy. No 
general action occurred until the 21st when the English 
obtained a decisive victory and drove Menou, — who had 
succeeded to the command of the t^ops in Egypt at the 
death of Kleber, — with great loss within the walls of 
Alexandria. Here he was blockaded and General Belliard , 
cut off from all communication with him, capitulated after 
which Menou submitted. Each capitulated on condition 
of being taken back to France with all his troops and their 
arms and baggage. Thus ended the conquest of Egypt by 
Napoleon. The French admiral, Gantheaume, had long 
been making fruitless efforts to land reinforcements in 
Egypt, but had been unable to elude the British ships. 
He was now ordered to return to Toulon, where prepara- 
tions were made to receive the French troops. 

After the news of the reverses of the Frence army in 
Egypt,and the great sea victory of Copenhagen by Nelson, 


Napoleon was determined to bring England to negotiations 
of peace and a recognition of the French Republic, and with 
this in view he gathered an army of 100,000 men on the 
coasts of France , with a flotilla sufficiently large to effect a 
landing in England, whenever circumstances seemed to 
favor such a movement. At this very moment it was, that 
Fulton, the inventor of steam-boats, communicated his 
discovery to the First Consul. Napoleon thus had the 
first chance placed in his hands of possessing exclusively 
for a time, the greatest and most diversified means of phys- 
ical power ever known in the world. Scarcely deigning 
to bestow a thought upon the subject the First Consul 
treated the inventor as a " visionary. " 

Whether or not Napoleon ever intended to invade Great 
Britain, he succeeded at all events in convincing the world 
for a time that such was his design, and when the peace of 
Amiens was signed on March 25th, 1802, Paris and lyondon 
rejoiced, as did all civilized nations. The peace of Amiens 
left the military resources of France unemployed on the 
hands of Bonaparte. This induced him to think of profiting 
by the European calm, and effect the conquest of St. 
Domingo. He gave the command of the expedition to his 
brother-in-law, lycclerc ; but it was unsuccessful. 

■ The inauguration of Christian worship once more in 
France in 1802 gave Napoleon an opportunity to show 
that he had the interest of the people at heart. France 
was an infidel nation, and it was the fashion to believe 
there was no God. The signing of the Concordat by 
Pope Pius VII. gave to France what she had long needed — 
a form of religious worship. It required no little strength 
of purpose to take this step. ' ' Religion is a principle 
which cannot be eradicated from the heart of man ; ' ' said 


Napoleon. " L^ast Sunday I was walking here alone, and 
the church bells of the village of Ruel rang at sunset. I 
was strongly moved, so vividly did the memory of early 
days come back with that sound. If it be thus with me, 
what must it be with others? In re-establishing the 
Church, I consult the wishes of the great majority of my 
people. ' ' A grand religious ceremony took place at Notre 
Dame Cathedral to celebrate the proclamation of the Con- 
cordat, at which the First Consul presided with great 
pomp, attended by all the ministers and general officers 
then in Paris. Another measure, adopted at this period, 
was the decree permitting the return of the emigrants, 
provided the}- appeared and took the oath to the govern- 
ment within a certain period. It is estimated that a 
hundred thousand exiles returned to their country in 
consequence of this decree. 

It was about this period, too, that the First Consul 
turned his attention to the system of a national education, 
He also commenced the herculean task of preparing a 
code of law for the French nation with the result that the 
' ' Code Napoleon ' ' is known to every civilized nation of 
the earth. Public improvements, formerly projected, 
were now carried out, and sciences and the arts progressed 
as never before. 

The order of the lyCgion of Honor owes its inception to 
Napoleon Bonaparte, and it was he who placed it on such 
a footing in France that it has since thrived there as has 
no similar institution on the Continent. When established 
by him, after months of careful consideration, lie believed 
it necessary to France. To his Counselors of State he 
said : ' ' They talk about ribbons and crosses being the 
playthings of monarchs, and say that the old Romans had 


no system of honorary rewards. The Romans had pa- 
tricians, knights, citizens and slaves, — for each class differ- 
ent dresses and different manners — mural crowns, civic 
crowns, orations, triumphs and titles. When the noble 
band of patricians lost its influence, Rome fell to pieces — 
the people were a vile rabble. It was then that you saw 
the fury of Marius, the proscriptions of Scylla, and after- 
ward of the Emperors. In that manner Brutus is talked 
of as the enemy of tyrants ; he was an aristocrat, who 
stabbed Caesar because Caesar wished to lower the author- 
ity of the senate. You call these ribbons and crosses 
child's rattles — be it so : It is with such rattles that men 
are led. I would not say that to the multitude, but in a 
council of wise men and statesmen one may speak the 
truth . . . Observe how the people bow before the 
decorations of foreigners. Voltaire calls the common sol- 
diers ' Alexanders at five sous a day. ' He was right. It 
is just so. Do you imagine you can make men fight by 
reasoning ? Never ! You must bribe them with glory, 
with distinctions and rewards ... In fine, it is agreed 
that we have need of some kind of institutions. If this 
L,egion of Honor is not approved, let some other be sug- 
gested. I do not pretend that it alone will save the State, 
but it will do its part. ' ' 

The Legion of Honor was instituted on the 15th of May 
1802. When Napoleon had seen the fruits of it, he said : 
' ' This order was the reward of every one who was an 
honor to his country, stood at the head of his profession, 
and contributed to the national prosperity and glory. 
Some were dissatisfied, because the decoration was con- 
ferred alike on officers and soldiers ; others, because it was 
given for civ 11 and military merits indiscriminately ; but if 


this order ever cease to be the recompense of the brave 
private, or be confined to military men alone, it will cease 
to be what I made it, — the I^egion of Honor." 

The First Consul was, in right of his office, captain gen- 
eral of the legion and president of the council of administra- 
tion. The nomination of all the members was for life. The 
grand officers were endowed with a yearly pension of 
upwards of $1000. Pensions, decreasing in amount, were 
also affixed to the subordinate degrees of rank in the order. 
All the members were required to swear, upon their honor, 
to defend the government of France, and maintain the 
inviolability of her Empire, to combat, by every lawful 
means against the re-establishment of feudal institutions, 
and to concur in maintaining the principle of liberty and 
equality. On the day the order was instituted, Napoleon, 
by act of the Senate was appointed Consul for life. The 
First Consul accepted the offered prolongation from the 
Senate, on the condition that the opinion of the people 
should be consulted on the subject. The question put to 
them, as framed by Cambaceres and Le Brun, was : 
"Napoleon Bonaparte— Shall he be Consul for life ?' ' Regis- 
ters were opened in all municipalities ; and the answer of 
the .people qualified to vote was decisive. Upwards of 
three million five hundred thousand voted for the proposal ; 
8,300 against it. In the month of August Napoleon was 
formally declared Consul for life and a decree of the 
Senate immediately consolidated his power, by permitting 
him to appoint his successor. 

This personal elevation had its ample share in contrib- 
uting to the number of Napoleon's enemies. In fact it 
appears in some measure astonishing how any individual 
could persuade a whole nation, day after day, to yield him 


up such a portion of its rights and privileges. However, 
among many instances that might be adduced of his pow- 
ers of persuasion, one which occurred about this period is 
not the least remarkable. In the beginning of the sum- 
mer of 1802 some officers of rank, enthusiastic republic- 
ans, took umbrage at Napoleon's conduct, and determined 
to go and remonstrate with him upon the points that had 
given them offense, and speak their minds freely. On the 
evening of the same day, one of the party gave the following 
account of the interview : " I do not know whence it arises, 
but there is a charm about that man, indescribable and irre- 
sistible. I am no admirer of his ; I dislike the power to which 
he has risen ; yet I cannot help confessing that there is 
something in him which seems to speak him born to com- 
mand. We went into his apartment, determined to declare 
our minds ; to expostulate with him warmly ; and not to 
depart till our subject of complaint should be removed. 
But in his manner of receiving us there was a certain tact 
which disarmed us in a moment ; nor could we utter one 
word of what we had intended to say. He talked to us 
for a length of time, with an eloquence peculiarly his own, 
explaining with the utmost clearness and precision, the 
necessity of steadily pursuing the line of conduct he had 
adopted, and, without contradicting us in direct terms, 
controverted our opinions so ably, that we had not a word 
to offer in replj^, we therefore retired, having done nothing 
but listen to, instead of expostulating with him , fully 
convinced, at least for the moment, that he was right, and 
that we were altogether in the wrong ! ' ' 

Towards the close of the year 1802 it became evident 
that the peace of Amiens was based on a hollow foundation, 
and was destined at no distant period to be overthrown. At 


an interview held with Lord Whitworth, an ambassador 
from England, Napoleon said : ' ' No consideration on 
earth shall make me consent to your retention of Malta ; I 
would as soon agree to put you in possession of the Fau- 
bourg St, Antoine. Every wind that blows from England 
brings nothing but hatred and hostility towards me. An 
invasion is the only means of offense that I can take 
against her, and I am determined to put myself at the 
head of the expedition. There are a hundred chances to 
one against my success ; but I am not the less determined 
to attempt the descent, if war must be the consequence 
of the present discussion." He now quickly brought 
matters to a crisis. He attacked the ambassador in vigor- 
ous language at a diplomatic meeting at the Tuileries 
which ended in an abrupt termination of the conference 
by Napoleon leaving the room. 

The armistice lasted until March i8th, 1803, when 
England again declared war upon France. All commerce 
of the French nation was ordered seized, wherever found, 
and two hundred vessels, containing at least $15,000,000 
worth of property fell into the hands of England. Napo- 
leon retaliated by arresting upwards of ten thousand Eng- 
lishmen then in France. The tocsin of war was sounded 
in every part of Europe, and 160,000 French soldiers 
were marshaled on the coasts of France, again threaten- 
ing an invasion of England. France at this time was 
totally unprepared for war ; a proof sufficient to show 
that the First Consul had not desired the termination of 
peace. The army was completely on a peace estab- 
lishment ; great numbers of the troops were disbanded 
and the parks of artillery were broken up. New plans 
for re-casting the artillery had been proposed, and they had 


already begun to break up the cannon to throw them into 
the furnaces. The navy was in a still less serviceable 
condition. In an address to the Senate Napoleon said : 
* ' The negotiations are ended and we are attacked ; let us 
at least fight to maintain the faith of treaties and the 
honor of the French name." The nation responded with 
enthusiasm to the call ; sums of money were voted by 
the large towns for building ships and the army was rap- 
idly recruited. 

The first hostile movement of Napoleon was upon the 
continental domains of George III. General Mortier 
invaded the Electorate of Hanover with 15,000 men and 
the Hanoverian army laid down its arms. The second 
movement of the First Consul was the occupation of 
Naples. No resistance was attempted. These measures, 
besides enabling Napoleon to maintain his army by levies 
on the foreign states he occupied, also crippled the com- 
merce of England by shutting up all communication 
with many of the best markets on the Continent. The First 
Consul now visited the principal towns, accompanied by 
Josephine, where he made observations and gave orders 
respecting the fortifications. These measures were all 
preparatory on the part of Napoleon to his determined 
plan to attempt the invasion of England. Funds were 
secured in part by the sale of Eouisiana to the United 

Assassination was now again resorted to that Napoleon 
might be overthrown ; but every attempt, as heretofore, 
proved futile. Conspiracy after conspiracy was detected — 
all traced to Napoleon's political enemies. The First 
Consul resolved on retaliation and ordered the arrest of 
the Duke d'Enghien at his castle in the Duchy of Baden. 


Three daj^s afterwards the duke was conveyed to Paris, 
and after a few hours' imprisonment, was taken to the old 
State Prison of France, where he was tried by court 
martial, and in a most summary and hasty manner pro- 
nounced guilty of having fought against the Republic and 
condemned to death. He was led down a winding stairway 
by torchlight, and shot in a ditch in the castle at six o'clock 
in the morning. All Europe shuddered at the deed, but 
it produced exactly the result Napoleon intended by it ; 
he was safe from attempts on his life forever afterwards. 

Before the discovery of this plot the French Senate had 
sent an address to Napoleon congratulating him on his 
escape from a former conspiracy in which one hundred 
persons had schemed to take his life. In answer he said : 
"I have long since renounced the hope of enjoying the 
pleasures of a private life; all my days are employed in ful- 
filling the duties which my fate and the will of the French 
people have imposed upon me. Heaven will watch over 
France, and defeat the plots of the wicked. The citizens 
may be without alarm ; my life will last as long as it will 
be useful to the nation ; but I wish the French people to 
understand that existence, without their confidence and 
affection, would be to me without consolation, and would 
for them have no object." 

The title of First Consul, by which Napoleon had been 
distinguished for more than four years, was exchanged 
on the 1 8th of May 1804 for that of Emperor by the 
advice of the Senate, where it was first publicly broached, 
and by the universal assent of the French nation. Up- 
wards of 3,500,000 voted for the mear>ure and about 
2,000 against it. The debates in the Senate were 
somewhat protracted and so great was the impatience 

FroD: i I'aimiii.- l.y J, I. hn: A 

Allegurial Rhpkesi;ntation ui^ Napoleon Crossing the Alps 


of the military that the garrison of Paris had resolved to 
proclaim their chief as Kmperor, at the first review ; and 
Murat, governor of the city, was obliged to assemble the 
officers at his house, and bind them by a promise to 
restrain the troops. The spirit of the army at Boulogne 
was soon manifested, by their voting the erection of a col- 
ossal statue of Napoleon, in bronze, to be placed in the 
midst of the camp. Every soldier subscribed a portion of 
his pay for the purpose ; but there was a want of bronze. 
Soult, who presided over the completion of the undertak- 
ing, went, at the head of a deputation to Napoleon, and 
said : "Sire, lend me the bronze, and I will repay it in 
enemy's cannon at the first battle, ' ' and he kept his word. 

On the 27th of May Napoleon received the oath of the 
Senate, the constituted bodies, the learned corporations 
and the troops of the garrison of Paris. lyouis XVIII. 
immediately addressed a protest to all the sovereigns 
of Europe against the usurpation of Napoleon. Fouche, 
who was the first who heard of this document, immedi- 
ately communicated the intelligence to the Emperor, 
with a view to prepare the necessary orders to watch 
over those who might attempt its circulation ; but great 
was his surprise, on receiving directions to have the 
whole inserted in ' ' The Moniteur ' ' the following morn- 
ing, where it actually appeared. This was all the notice 
taken of the matter by Napoleon. 

On December ist of the same year, the lists of votes 
in favor of the establishment of the hereditary succession 
of the Empire in his family were publicly presented by 
the Senate to Napoleon, and on the following day, in the 
midst of one of the most imposing and brilliant scenes 
ever enacted in France, Napoleon and Josephine were 



crowned Emperor and Empress of France by Pius VII. , 
the Pontiff of Rome, in the Cathedral of Notre Dame. 

The Emperor took his coronation oath as usual on such 
occasions, with his hand upon the Scripture, and in the 
form repeated to him by the Pope ; but in the act of cor- 
onation itself there was a marked deviation from the uni- 
versal custom. The crown having been blessed by the 
Pope, Napoleon took it from the altar with his own hands 
and placed it on his brow. He then put the diadem on 
the head of Josephine. The heralds proclaimed that ' ' the 
thrice glorious and thrice august Napoleon, Emperor of 
the French, was crowned and installed ; ' ' and so ended 
the pageant. ' ' Those who remember having beheld it, ' ' 
says Sir Walter Scott, ' ' must now doubt whether they 
were waking, or whether fancy had formed a vision so dazz- 
ling in its appearance, so extraordinary in its origin and 
progress, and so ephemeral in its endurance." 

The senators of the Italian Republic soon afterwards 
requested that Napolon be crowned as their king, and 
on the following May 1805, in the ancient cathedral of 
Milan, he assumed the Iron Crown of the Lombard kings, 
saying as he did so, ' ' God has given it to me ; let him 
beware who would touch it ! " 

The new order of knighthood, that of the Iron Crown, 
with these words for its motto, arose out of this ceremony. 

On the 8th of May, while on the road to Milan, Napo- 
leon expressed a wish to visit the battlefield of Marengo, 
on which he had reconquered Italy five years before. All 
the French troops in that part of Italy were therefore 
mustered there, to the number of 30,000. Covered with 
the hat and uniform which he wore on the day of that 
memorable conflict — the Emperor passed the army in 


review on horseback, and distributed crosses of tlie Le- 
gion of Honor, with the same ceremonies which had been 
observed on the Champ de Mars and the same return of 
enthusiastic devotion on the parts of the troops. ' ' It was 
remarked, ' ' says Bourrienne, ' ' that the worms, who spare 
neither the costumes of Hving kings, nor the bodies of 
deceased heroes, had been busy with the trophies of Ma- 
rengo, which, nevertheless, Bonaparte wore at the review. " 
Napoleon did not continue his journey until after he had 
laid the first stone of the monument consecrated to those 
who had been slain on the battlefield, and on the same 
day he made his entry into Milan. Meanwhile the activ- 
ity in France continued unabated, and scarcely a day 
passed without some trifling engagement, brought on by 
the rigorous pursuit of the squadrons of the French fleet, 
as they advanced to Boulogne. 

Scarcely had the Emperor entered Paris after his return 
from the coronation in Italy, before he learned that a new 
coalition had been formed against him, and thatKngland, 
Russia, Austria and Sweden, with half a million men, 
were preparing once more for war. The objects proposed 
were, briefly, the independence of Holland and Switzer- 
land ; the evacuation of Hanover, and the north of Ger- 
many by the French troops ; the restoration of Piedmont 
to the King of Sardinia ; and the complete evacuation of 
Italy by France. Great Britain, besides affording the 
assistance of her forces by sea and land, was to pay large 
subsidies for supporting the armies of the coalition. Napo- 
leon had, in a great degree, penetrated the schemes of the 
allied powers, but was not prepared for the sudden assump- 
tion of arms by Austria without any declaration of war ; 
a measure which Austria justified by referring to the 
increasing encroachments of France in Italy. 


As the Emperor desired leisure to prosecute and perfect 
the great public works he had begun, or projected, he 
most earnestly wished for peace, and he again addressed 
a letter to the King of England, and which was treated 
with contempt. An envoy was sent to Frankfort-on-the- 
Main to ascertain definitely whether Austria really 
intended to trample another treaty in the dirt, and so soon 
after the fatal day at Marengo. The messenger soon 
returned with the best maps of the German Empire, and 
opening them on the council table of the Tuileries, said : 
' ' The Austrian general is advancing on Munich : the 
Russian army is in motion, and Prussia will join them." 

The Emperor of Russia had pushed on to Berlin to win 
over the Prussian monarch to the great Bourbon coali- 
tion, and to make the compact more impressive, he asked 
his royal brother to visit with him the tomb of Frederick 
the Great. They descended by torchlight to the vault, 
and there, over the honored dust of Frederick, Francis, 
his heir, took a solemn oath, as he pointed to the sword 
of his ancestor as it lay on the coffin, to join the European 
coalition. Some weeks afterwards Napoleon visited the 
tomb as a conqueror, and said to his attendant, as he 
seized the precious relics : ' ' These orders and sword shall 
witness no other such scene of perjury over the ashes of 
Frederick ! " 

The young Emperor of France now gathered his eagles 
to lead them toward the Danube. To the French Senate, 
whom Napoleon informed of the hostile conduct of Russia 
and Austria, the Emperor said : "I am about to quit my 
capital to place myself at the head of my army in order 
that I may render prompt assistance to my allies, and 
defendthedearest interests of my people . . . I groan 


for the blood wliicli it will cost Europe ; but it will be 
the means of adding new lustre to the French name. ' ' 
Another campaign against the kings of Europe was inevit- 
able, and he proceeded to achieve the destruction of Mack' s 
army, not as at Marengo by one general battle, but by a 
series of grand manoeuvres, and a train of partial actions 
necessary to execute them, which rendered assistance and 
retreat alike impossible. 

The great army that had been assembled on the coast 
of France to invade England was now relieved from its 
inactivity and directed to march upon the German fron- 
tiers. The Count de Segur, who had command of the 
detachment of the Guard at the Tuileries.and accompanied 
Napoleon on this campaign, relates in his " Memoirs " a 
remarkable scene in the Emperor's private quarters at 
Boulogne before Napoleon started for the frontier. The 
Emperor had just received news that Admiral Villeneuve 
had taken the French fleet to Ferrol and left the channel. 
On learning this the Emperor at once decided that the 
contemplated invasion of England was then impossible. 
Segur then says : "Sit there, ' ' Napoleon said to 
M. Daru, then acting as intendant-general of the army 
" and write." And then, without a transition, without 
any apparent meditation, with his brief and imperious 
accent, he dictated to him, without hesitation, the plan of 
the campaign of Ulni as far as Vienna ! The army of the 
coast, fronting the ocean for more than two hundred 
leagues, was at the first signal to turn round and march 
on the Danube, in several columns ! The order of the 
marches, their duration, points of concentration, of reunion 
of the columns, surprises, attacks, various movements, 
the enemy's mistakes — all was foreseen . . . The 


battlefields, the victories, even the dates on which we were 
to enter Munich and Vienna — all was then written just as 
it happened, and this two months in advance, at this very- 
hour of the 13th of August, and from this quarter-general 
on the coast. Daru, however accustomed to the inspira- 
tions of his chief, remained dumfounded, and he was even 
more surprised when afterwards he saw these oracles 
realized. ' ' The Emperor returned to Paris without delay, 
and there laid before the Senate the state of the army 
and announced the commencement of hostilities. 

It was five years since the soldiers had been in battle ; 
and for two and a half years they had been waiting in 
vain for an opportunity to cross over into England. It 
would be difficult to form any conception then of their joy 
or of their ardor when they learned they were going to be 
employed in a great war. Old and young ardently longed 
for battles, dangers, distant expeditions. They had con- 
quered the Austrians, the Prussians, the Russians ; they 
despised all the soldiers of Europe and did not imagine 
there was an army in the* world capable of resisting them. 
They set off singing, and shouting, " Vive 1' Empereur!" 

At the same time Massena received orders to assume 
the offensive in Italy, and force his way, if possible, into 
the hereditary States of Austria. The two French armies, 
one crossing the Rhine and the other pushing through the 
Tyrolese, looked forward to a junction before th'e walls of 
Vienna, After appointing Joseph Bonaparte to superin- 
tend the government in his absence Napoleon quitted 
Paris on the 24th of September 1805, accompanied as far as 
Strasburg by Josephine : here they separated. The Emperor 
put himself at the head of his army and crossed the Rhine 
on the ist of October. He now begun a series of grand 


manouevres and partial actions, requiring consummate 
skill, with a view to the destruction of the great Austrian 
army under General Mack. 

Mack, at the head of the Austrian forces, established 
his headquarters on the western frontier of Bavaria, at 
Ulm. Prudence would have suggested that he occupy 
the line of the river Inn , which, extending from the Tyrol 
to the Danube at Passau, affords a strong defense to the 
Austrian territory, and on which he might have awaited, 
in comparative safety, the arrival of the Russian forces, 
then on the march to aid Austria in the campaign. 

Napoleon hastened to profit by Mack's error, and by 
a combination of manoeuvres with his different divisions, 
the great body of the French army advanced into the 
heart of Germany by the left of the Danube, and then throw- 
ing himself across the river, took ground in the 
Austrian general's rear, when he expected to be assaulted 
in front' of Ulm. As it was, Mack's communication 
with Vienna was interrupted, and he was completely 
isolated. • 

Never was astonishment equal to that which filled all 
Europe on the unexpected arrival of the French army. 
It was supposed to be on the shores of the ocean, and 
in twenty days, scarcely time enough for the report of 
its march to spread to this point, it appeared on the 

Napoleon did not effect his purpose of taking up a 
position in the rear of Mack without resistance, but in the 
various engagements with the different divisions of the 
Austrian army at Wertingen, Gunzburgh, Memingen and 
Elchingen, the French were uniformly successful. At 
Memingen General Spangenburg was forced to capitulate, 


and 5,000 men laid down their arms. Not less than 
20,000 prisoners fell into the hands of the French between 
the 26th of September and the 13th of October. 

The Emperor passed in review the dragoons of the village 
of Zumershausen when he ordered to be brought before him 
a dragoon named Marente, of the 4th regiment, one of the 
gallant soldiers who, at the passage of the lycch, had 
saved his captain, by whom he had, a few days before, 
been cashiered from his rank. Napoleon then bestowed 
upon him the eagle of the Legion of Honor. 

* ' I have only done my duty, ' ' observed the soldier, 
' ' my captain degraded me on account of some violation 
of discipline but he knows I have always proved a good 
soldier. ' ' 

The Emperor expressed his satisfaction to the dragoons 
for the bravery they had displayed at the battle of Wer- 
tingen and ordered each regiment to present a dragoon, 
on whom he also bestowed the decoration of the I^egion of 

Napoleon looked upon the battle of Elchingen which fol- 
lowed the actions at Wertingen and Gunzburgh as one of 
the finest feats of arms that his army had ever accomplished. 
From this field of battle he sent the Senate forty standards 
taken by the French army in the various battles which 
had succeeded that of Wertingen. " Since my entry on 
this campaign," he wrote, " I have disposed of an army 
of 100,000 men. I have taken nearly half of them 
prisoners ; the rest have either deserted, are killed, 
wounded, or reduced to thie greatest consternation . 
Assisted by Divine Providence I hope in a short time to 
triumph over all my enemies. ' ' 


By the 13th of October General Mack found himself 
completely surrounded at Ulm with a garrison of fully 
20,000 good troops. On this day Napoleon made an excit- 
ing address to his soldiers on the bridge of the I^ech, amid 
the most intense cold, the ground being covered with 
snow, and the troops sunk to the knees in mud. He 
warned them to expect a great battle, and explained 
the desperate condition of the enemy. He was an- 
swered with acclamations and repeated shouts of, ' 'Vive 
r Empereur ! " In listening to his exciting words, the 
soldiers forgot their fatigues and privations and were 
impatient to rush into the fight. 

As Napoleon passed through a crowd of prisoners, 
an Austrian colonel expressed his astonishment on 
beholding the Emperor of the French drenched with rain, 
covered with dirt, and as much, or even more fatigued 
than the meanest drummer in his army. An aide-de- 
camp present having explained to him what the Austrian 
officer said, the Emperor ordered this answer to be given : 
' ' Your master wished me to recollect that I was a soldier ; 
I hope that he will allow that the throne and the imperial 
purple have not made me forget my original profession." 

From the height of the Abbey of Elchingen Napoleon 
now beheld the city of Ulm at his feet, commanded on 
every side by his cannon ; his victorious troops ready for 
the assault, and the great Austrian army cooped up within 
the walls. Four days later a flag of truce came from 
General Mack. 

Napoleon had called upon the commander to sur- 
render, and unlike the brave Wurmser, who held Mantua 
to extremity during the campaign of Alvinzi, he capitulated 
without hazarding a blow. On the previous day Mack had 


published a proclamation urging his troops to prepare for 
the ' ' utmost pertinacity of defense ' ' and forbidding, on 
the pain of death, the very word ' ' surrender " to be 
breathed within the walls of Ulm. He announced the 
arrival of two powerful armies, one of Austrians, the 
other of Russians, whose appearance "would presently 
raise the blockade. ' ' He even declared his intention of 
eating horseflesh rather than listen to any terms of cap- 
itulation ! 

On the morning of October 1 5th Napoleon finally resolved 
to bring the affair to a close, and gave orders to Marshal 
Ney to storm the heights of Michaelsberg. All at once 
a battery unmasked by the Austrians, poured its grape- 
shot upon the imperial group. I^annes, who was to flank 
Ney, abruptly seized Napoleon's horse to lead him out of 
the galling fire. The latter had taken up a position to 
watch Ney, who had set his columns in motion. Chang- 
ing to a safe position, the Emperor saw this intrepid 
leader climb the intrenchments raised on Michaelsberg, 
and carry them with the bayonet. lyannes secured another 
point of attack a moment later. 

Napoleon then suspended the combat until the next 
day, when he ordered a few shells to be thrown into Ulm, 
and in the evening sent Segur to General Mack summon- 
ing him to surrender. The envoy had great difficulty 
in getting into the place. He was led blindfold before 
Mack, who, striving to conceal his anxiety, was never- 
theless unable to dissemble his surprise and grief on 
learning the extent of his disaster and hopeless position. 

On the 1 7th Mack signed articles by which hostilities 
were immediately ceased and he with all his men agreed 
to surrender ( !) themselves as prisoners of war within ten 


days, unless some Austrian or Russian force should appear 
and attempt to raise the blockade. On the 19th, after a 
personal visit to Napoleon's camp, Mack submitted to a 
' ' revision ' ' of the treaty, and on the 20th a formal evacu- 
ation of Ulm took place. 

Thirty-six thousand soldiers filed off and laid down 
their arms before Napoleon and his staff. A large watch- 
fire had been made, near which the Emperor posted himself 
to witness the ceremony. General Mack came forward 
and delivered his sword, exclaiming, with grief: 
' ' Here is the unfortunate Mack ! ' ' Napoleon received 
him and his officers with the greatest courtesy. Eighteen 
generals were dismissed on parole, an immense quantity 
of ammunition of all sorts fell into the hands of the victor, 
and a wagonful of Austrian standards was sent to Paris. 

Napoleon enforced the strictest silence on his troops 
while this ceremony, so painful to their enemies continued. 
In one instance he instantly ordered out of his presence 
one of his own generals from whom his quick ear caught 
some witticism passed on the occasion. 

All the Austrian officers were allowed to return home, 
on giving their word of honor not to serve against 
France until a general exchange of prisoners should take 

This campaign is perhaps unexampled in the history of 
warfare for the greatness of its results in comparison with 
the smallness of the expense at which they were obtained. 
Of the French army, scarcely fifteen hundred men were 
killed and wounded ; while the Austrian army of almost 
ninety thousand men was nearly annihilated ; all, with the 
exception of 15,000 who escaped, being killed, wounded, 
or prisoners ; and having lost also, 200 pieces of cannon 


and ninety flags. It was a common remark among the 
troops, " The Emperor has found a new method of carry- 
ing on war ; he makes us use our legs instead of our 
bayonets." Five-sixths of the French army never fired 
a shot, at which the troops were much mortified! 

Massena was also successful in his advance from I^om- 
bardy, the Archduke Charles, who commanded an army of 
80,000 men for Austria, being forced to abandon Italy, 
and Marshal Ney whom Napoleon had detached from his 
own main army with orders to advance in the Tyrol, was 
no less successful. The number of prisoners taken in this 
campaign was so great that Napoleon distributed them 
amongst the agriculturists that their work in the fields 
might make up for the absence of the conscripts, whom 
he had withdrawn from such labor. 

Rumors of the approach of the Russians, headed by the 
Emperor Alexander in person, came fast and frequent. The 
divisions of Massena and Ney were now at the disposal of 
Napoleon, who was concentrating his forces for the pur- 
pose of attacking Vienna, and, with the main body, 
now moved on the capital of the Austrian Emperor. The 
Emperor Francis, perceiving that Vienna was incapable 
of defense, quitted his palace on the 7th of November, 
and proceeded to the headquarters of Alexander at 

While Napoleon was riding on horseback on the Vienna 
road, he perceived an open carriage approaching, in which 
were seated a priest, and a lady bathed in tears. The 
Emperor was dressed, as usual, in the uniform of a 
colonel of the chasseurs of the guard. The lady did not 
recognize him. He inquired the cause of her distress and 
where she was going. 


"Sir," said she, "I have been robbed, about two 
leagues hence, by a party of soldiers, who have killed my 
gardner. I am going to request that your emperor will 
grant me a guard ; he once knew my family well, and 
lay under obligations to them," 

" Your name? " inquired Napoleon, 

' ' De Brunny ' ' answered the lady. ' ' I am the daughter 
of M. de Marbeuf, formerly governor of Corsica." 

' ' I am delighted to meet with you madame ' ' exclaimed 
Napoleon with the most charming frankness, ' ' and to 
have an opportunity of serving you, — I am the Bmperor. ' ' 

The lady expressed much surprise and passed on agree- 
ing to wait for the commander at headquarters. Here she 
was furnished a piquet of chasseurs. 

On the 13th the French entered Vienna, and Napoleon 
took up his residence in the Imperial Palace of Schoen- 
brunn, the home of the Austrian Caesars. While 
at this point Napoleon learned of the success of the Eng- 
lish at Trafalgar on October 19th, — the day after Mack 
surrendered at Ulm. It was a battle sternly contested and 
resulted in the final annihilation of the French fleet. 
Great as the triumph was for England, it was dearly pur- 
chased — for Nelson fell, mortally wounded, early in the 
action. He lived just- long enough to hear the cheers of 
victory, and as he passed away, said, " Thank God ! I 
have done my duty ! " 

The tidings of Trafalgar served but as a new stimulus 
to Napoleon's energy. "Heaven has given the empire 
of the sea to England," he said, "but to us has fate 
decreed the dominion of the land." But though such 
signal success had crowned the commencement of the 
campaign, it was necessary to defeat the haughty Rus- 


sians before the object of the war could be considered as 
attained. The broken and shattered remnant of the Aus- 
trian forces had rallied from different quarters around the 
yet untouched army of Alexander ; Napoleon had there- 
fore waited until the result of his skillful combinations had 
drawn around him the greatest force he could expect to 
collect, ere venturing upon a general battle. He then 
quitted Vienna and put himself at the head of his columns 
which soon found themselves within reach of the Russian 
and Austrian forces, at length combined and ready for 
action, and under the eye of their emperors. 

Now it was to be a battle of three emperors, — France, 
Russia and Austria. Napoleon fixed his headquarters at 
Brunn, where he arrived on the 20th of November, and 
riding over the plain between this point and Austerlitz, a 
village about two miles from Brunn, said to his generals : 
" Study this field well, — ^we shall, ere long, have to con- 
test it." 

Napoleon, on learning that the Emperor Alexander was 
personally in the hostile camp, sent Savary to present his 
compliments to that sovereign, and of course " incident- 
ally to observe as much as he could of the numbers and 
condition of the enemy ' s troops. ' ' The messenger reported 
that the Russians labored under a belief that the reverses 
of the previous campaign were the result of unpardon- 
able cowardice among the Austrians, and the first general 
battle would show the sort of warriors the Russians were. 
Savary said that from the conversations he had for three 
days with nearly thirty coxcombs about the person of 
Alexander, that presumption, inconsiderateness, and 
imprudence, reigned in the decisions of the military as 
much as in the political cabinet, and that an army so con- 
ducted must of necessity commit great faults. 


The Czar sent a young aide-de-camp to return the com- 
pHment carried by Savary, and he found the French 
soldiery engaged in fortifying their position — a position 
which Napoleon had some time before determined to 
occupy ; but the negotiations were of no avail : Napoleon 
wanted either an overwhelming battle or peace. The 
aide-de-camp sent by Alexander was impressed with what 
appeared to him to be evidence of fear and apprehension 
on the part of the French. The placing of strong guards 
and fortifications, thrown up with such haste, appeared 
to him like the precautions of an army half beaten. 
The Russian prince discussed every point with an air of 
impertinence difficult to be conceived. He spoke to Na- 
poleon as if he had been conversing with a Russian officer ; 
but the Emperor repressed his indignation, and the young 
man returned under a full conviction that the French 
army was on the brink of ruin. Several old Austrian 
generals, who had made campaigns against Napoleon, are 
said to have warned the Russian council against too much 
confidence as they were to march against old soldiers and 
able officers. They said they had seen Napoleon, when 
reduced to a handful of men, repossess himself of victory, 
under the most difficult circumstances, by rapid and unfor- 
seen operations, in which manner he had destroyed 
numerous armies. The presumptuous young man declared 
that the presence of the Russian Emperor would inspire 
the troops to victory especially as they would be aided by 
the picked troops of the imperial guard of Russia. 

On the I St of December, on seeing the Russians begin 
to descend from a chain of heights on which they might 
have received an attack with great advantage to them- 
selves, and have remained in safety until the Archduke 


Charles could come up with the 80,000 men in Bohemia 
and Hungary, Napoleon exclained rapturously, as he 
witnessed the rash manoeuvre : ' ' In twenty-four hours 
that army will be mine ! " In the meantime, withdraw- 
ing his outposts and concentrating his forces, he continued 
to imitate a conscious inferiority, which was far from 
existing. In the order of the day (December i ) before the 
battle of Austerlitz, Napoleon inserted the following 
proclamation : 

" Soldiers, the Russians are before you, to avenge the 
Austrian army at Ulm. They consist of the same battal- 
ions you beat at Hollenbrun and have constantly pursued. 
The positions we occupy are formidable ; and, while they 
march to my right, they shall present me their flank. — 
Soldiers, I will direct myself all j^our battalions. I shall 
keep at a distance from the firing, if, with your accustomed 
bravery, you carry confusion and disorder into the 
enemy's ranks ; but, should victory appear for a moment 
doubtful, you shall see j^our Bmperor expose himself to 
the first blows ; for victory cannot hesitate on this day, 
in which the honor of the French infantr}^, of so much' 
importance to the whole army, is concerned. Suffer not 
the ranks to be thinned, under pretense of carrying off 
the wounded ; but let each man be well persuaded that 
we must conquer the hirelings of England, who are 
animated with so deep a hatred of our nation. This vic- 
tory must terminate our campaign ; when we shall resume 
our winter quarters, and be joined by the new armies 
forming in France. The peace which I make will be 
worthy of my people, of you and mj^self 

(Signed) Napoleon." 


At one o'clock on the morning of the 2nd of December, 
Napoleon, having slept for an hour by a watchfire, got 
on horseback and proceeded to reconnoitre the front of 
his position. He wished to do so without being recog- 
nized, but the soldiers penetrated the secret, and, lighting 
great fires of straw along the line, 80,000 men received 
him from post to post with great enthusiasm. They 
reminded him that it was the anniversary of his corona- 
tion, and declared that they would celebrate the day in a 
manner worthy of his glory. 

' ' Only promise us, ' ' cried one old grenadier, ' ' that 
you will keep yourself out of the fire: I promise you in 
the name of the grenadiers of the army that you will have 
to fight only with your eyes, and we will bring you the 
flags and artillery of the Russian army to celebrate the 
anniversary of your coronation. ' ' 

* ' I will do so, ' ' answered the Emperor, ' ' but I shall 
be with the reserve ttntil you need us.' This promise 
Napoleon soon repeated in his proclamation. As he threw 
down his pen after signing this document, he ex- 
claimed : ' ' This is the noblest evening of my life ; but I 
shall lose too many of these brave fellows to-morrow. 
The anguish which I experience at this idea makes me 
feel they are really my children ; and truly I am vexed 
with myself for these sensations, as I fear they will unman 
me on the field of battle. ' ' 

In his preparations for this decisive contest which he 
made immediately, ten battalions of the Imperial Guard, 
with ten of Oudinot's division, were to be kept in reserve 
in the rear of the line, under the eyes of Napoleon himself , 
who destined them, with forty field-pieces, to act where- 
ever the fate of battle should render their services most 



" The battle was planned by Napoleon in every detail," 
says Segur, "just as lie had planned the strategic move- 
ments of the army. In the early morning he sent for all his 
aides-de-camp to come to the small house where he had 
spent the night. We had a slight repast, which, like him- 
self, we ate standing ; after which, putting on his sword, 
he said, ' Nowgentlmen, let us go and begin a great day.' 
We all ran to our horses. A moment afterwards we saw, on 
the top of the hill which the soldiers called ' the Emperor's 
hill,' arriving from the various points of our line, followed 
each by their aides-de-camp, all the chiefs of our army 
corps, Murat, Ivannes, Bernadotte, Soult, Davoust,-all 
coming to receive final orders. If I were to live as long 
as the world shall last, I would never forget that scene." 

After a hazy, misty daybreak, the sun at last arose with 
uncommon brilliancy, so bright in fact that ' ' the sun of 
Austerlitz ' ' afterwards fell into a proverb with the French 
soldiery, who hailed similar dawns with exultation and as 
a sure omen of victory. The Emperor said, as he passed 
in front of several regiments : " Soldiers, we must finish 
this campaign by a thunderbolt which shall confound 
the pride of our enemies. ' ' Immediately they raised their 
hats on the bayonets' points and cries of, ' ' Live the Empe- 
ror ! ' ' formed the actual signal for battle. A moment 
afterwards the horizon cleared up and as the sun darted 
forth its glistening rays the cannonading was heard at the 
extremity of the right line. The great battle of Austerlitz 
had begun. 

At the opening of the engagement, Kutusoflf, the 
Russsian general -in -chief, fell into a snare laid for him by 
Napoleon, and sent a large division of his army to turn 
the right of the French. His troops, detached tor this 


purpose, met with unexpected resistance from Davoust, 
and were held in check. Napoleon at once seized the 
opportunity given him by the enemy in leaving a deep gap 
in their line, and upon that space Soult forthwith poured 
a force which entirely cut oil all communication between 
the Russian centre and left. 

The Czar quickly perceived the fatal consequences of 
the movement, and ordered his guards to rush to the 
eminence called the hill of Pratzen, where the encounter 
was taking place, and beat back Soult. The* Russians 
succeeded in driving the French before them, when Napo- 
leon ordered Bessieres to their rescue with the Imperial 
Guards. The Russians had become somewhat disordered 
from the impatience of their temporary victory, and 
although they resisted Bessieres sternly, they were finally 
broken and fled. The regiment of the Grand Duke Con- 
stantine, who gallantly led the Russians, was now anni- 
hilated and the duke only escaped by the fleetness of his 

The French centre now advanced, and the charges of 
Murat's cavalry were most decisive, while the left wing, 
under the command of I^annes, marched forward, en 
echelons, by regiments, in the same manner as if they had 
been exercising by divisions. A tremendous cannonade 
then took place along the whole line ; two hundred and 
three pieces of cannon, and nearly two hundred thousand 
men, being engaged, so that it was indeed a giant combat. 
Success could not be doubtful : in a moment the Russians 
were all but routed, their colonel, artillery, standards 
and everything being already captured. At i o'clock the 
victory was decided ; it had never been doubtful for a 
moment; and not a man of the reserves was required. 


From the heights of Austerlitz the Emperors of Russia 
and Austria beheld the total ruin of their centre as they 
had already of their left. The right wing only remained 
unbroken, it having contested well the impetuous charge 
of lyannes ; but Napoleon could now gather round them 
on all sides, and, his artillery plunging incessant fire on 
them from the heights, they at length found it impossible 
to hold their ground and were driven from position to 
position. They were at last forced down into a hollow 
where some frozen lakes offered them the only means of 
escape from the closing cannonade. As they did so the 
French broke the ice about them by a storm of shot from 
200 heavy cannon, and nearly 2,000 men died on the spot, 
some swept away by artillery, but the greater part being 
drowned beneath the broken ice. 

The cries of the dying Russians, as they sank beneath 
the waters, were drowned, however, by the victorious 
shouts of the French, who were pursuing the scattering 
remnants of the enemy in every direction. In the bulletin 
of the engagement Napoleon compared the scene to that 
at Aboukir, " when the sea was covered with turbans." 

The Kmperor had addressed his soldiers on the evening 
preceding the battle to heighten their courage, and pres- 
age to them the victory ; he did not forget to address 
himself to them again after the fight, and felicitate them 
upon having so nobly contributed to verify his prediction. 
" Soldiers," he said to them, " You have on this day of 
Austerlitz justified all that which I expected from your 
intrepidity. You have decorated your eagles with immor- 
tal glory. When all that is necessary to assure the happi- 
ness and prosperity of our country is accomplished, I will 
lead you back to France. There you will be the objects 


of my tenderest solicitude. My people will joyously greet 
you again, and it will suffice for you to say : ' I was at 
the battle of Austerltiz,' and for them to reply, ' Behold 
a brave man ! ' " 

In later years Napoleon said of this engagement : "I 
have fought thirty battles like that, but I have never seen 
so decisive a victory, or one where the chances were so 
unevenly balanced." At another time while at St. 
Helena he said, " If I had not conquered at Austerlitz I 
should have had all Prussia on me." 

It was with great difficulty that the Emperors of Rus- 
sia and Austria rallied some fragments of their armies 
around them, and, terror-stricken, effected their retreat. 
With the conqueror there remained 20,000 prisoners, 40 
pieces of artillery, and all the standards of the Imperial 
Guard of Russia. Such was the battle of Austerlitz, or 
as the French soldiers delighted to call it, ' ' The Battle of 
the Emperors" ; and thus did Napoleon's army fulfill 
its pledge to celebrate the anniversary of his coronation. 

The fleeing Emperors halted at midnight for council, 
and decided to send a messenger to Napoleon at daylight 
with proposals for peace. The envoy was courteously 
received, and arrangements were at once made for a meet- 
ing of the Austrian and French Emperors at ten o'clock 
the next day. They met about three leagues from Aus- 
terlitz, near a mill. Napoleon was the first to arrive on 
the ground; he at once ordered that two fires be made, 
and with a squadron of his Guard drawn up at a distance 
of about two hundred paces, awaited the arrival of 
Francis and his personal suite. When Francis came 
in sight, accompanied by several princes and generals, 
and an escort of Hungarian cavalry, Napoleon advanced 


to his carriage, and embraced him. The two Emperors, 
each with an attendant, then went to one of the fires near 
the entrance to a military hut, while the suites of the two 
sovereigns drew around the other fire, a few paces distant. 

' ' Such are the palaces you have compelled me to 
occupy for these three months, ' ' said Napoleon, pointing to 
his modest quarters. 

" You have made such good use of them," answered 
Francis, ' 'that you ought not to complain of their accom- 
modation. ' ' 

The defeated Emperor is represented as having thrown 
the blame of the war upon the English. ' ' They are a set 
of merchants," he said, "who would set the continent on 
fire, in order to secure themselves the commerce of the 

When the two great leaders separated, after an interview 
lasting an hour, they again embraced. Napoleon saying 
in the hearing of the gentlemen of the suites, — Prince John 
of Lichtenstein, near Francis, and Marshal Berthier, near 
Napoleon — : "I agree to it ; but your Majesty must not 
make war upon me again." " No, I promise you I will 
not," said Francis in reply ; "I will keep my word" — 
a promise that was soon violated. 

It was understood that the Emperor of Russia, although 
not present, was to abide by the agreement for an armis- 
tice. Alexander so assured Marshal Davoust, who had 
pursued him the night of the battle, and the Russians 
were allowed by Napoleon to retire unmolested to their 
own territory, on the royal word of Francis that Russia 
would adhere to his ally of Austria. 

' * The Russian army is surrounded, ' ' said Napoleon to 
Francis ; " Not a man can escape me but I wish to 


oblige their Emperor, and will stop the march of my 
columns if your Majesty promises me that these Russians 
shall evacuate Germany, and the Austrian and Prussian 
parts of Poland." "It is the purpose of the Emperor 
Alexander to do so, ' ' was the reply. No other engage- 
ment was required of the Czar than his word. 

When the negotiations had been completed, and the 
Emperor Francis had departed, Napoleon walked hurriedly 
to and fro for a short time, and after a deep silence he 
was heard to say : "I have acted very unwisely. I could 
have followed up my victory, and taken up the whole of 
the Austrian and Russian armies. They are both entirely 
in my power. But — let it be. It will at least cause some 
less tears to be shed." 

Napoleon then went over the field of battle, ordering 
the wounded to be removed, when some of those unfor- 
tunates, forgetting their sufferings asked, ' ' Is the victory 
quite certain ? ' ' The foot guards of the Emperor, not 
having been permitted to engage, actually wept and 
insisted upon doing something to identify them with the 

" Be satisfied," said Napoleon, "you are the reserve ; 
it will be better if you have nothing to do today." 

" The commander of the artillery of the imperial Russian 
guard having lost his cannon, met the French Emperor 
and said, * ' Sire, order me to be shot, I have lost my 

' ' Young man, ' ' replied Napoleon, ' ' I esteem your 
grief ; but one may be beaten by my army, and still retain 
some pretension to glory." 

The brief campaign was followed by a treaty with the 
Emperor of Austria, signed December 15th, 1805, and 


another with Prussia, signed December 26th at Vienna. 
The victor of AusterUtz made his own terms in the nego- 
tiations. Austria gave up the last of her Italian usurpa- 
tions to be annexed to the Kingdom of Italy, and the 
Tyrol to Bavaria, and yielded other stipulations which 
the conqueror demanded, but which were so moderate 
that they excited the wonder and admiration of all 

Previous to Napoleon's departure for Schoenbiunn on 
the 27th of December he issued the following proclamation 
to his army: 

' ' Soldiers ! Peace between myself and the Emperor of 
Austria is signed. You have, in this late season of the 
year, made two campaigns. You have performed every- 
thing I expected. I am setting out for my capital. I 
have promoted and distributed rewards to those who have 
most distinguished themselves. I will perform everything 
I have promised. You have seen that your Emperor has 
shared all your dangers and fatigues ; you shall likewise 
behold him surrounded by all that grandeur and splendor 
which become the sovereign of the first nation in the world. 
In the beginning of the month of May, I will give a grand 
festival in Paris ; you shall all be there. We will cel- 
ebrate the memory of those who, in these campaign have 
faUen on the field of honor. The world shall see that we 
are ready to follow their example, and, if necessary, do 
more than we have done, against those who suffer them- 
selves to be misled by the gold of the eternal enemy of the 
continent. ' ' 

The news of the success of the army was received 
with the greatest enthusiasm by the majority of the 
French people. 


Madame de Remusat in writing to her husband from 
Paris after the receipt of the news of the battle of Auster- 
Htz, said: "You cannot imagine how excited everyone 
is. Praise of the Emperor is on everyone's lips ; The most 
recalcitrant are obliged to lay down their arms, and to 
say with the Emperor of Russia, ' He is a man of destiny. ' " 

The campaign had consolidated the Empire of Napo- 
leon, and when he returned to France he was received 
with exultation by the citizens, who tendered him fete 
after fete such as had not been witnessed at the capital 
for years. This was followed by the elevation of many of 
his kinsmen and heroes to thrones of pomp and power, 
coronation following coronation in rapid succession, prince- 
doms and dukedoms being accompanied with grants of 
extensive estates in the countries which the French armies 
had conquered. From that moment, the fanaticism of 
military glory quite effaced the few remaining impressions 
made by the love of liberty. 



The establishment of the Confederation of the Rhine, 
which was one of the great consequences of Austerlitz, 
rendered Napoleon in effect, sovereign of a large part of 
Germany. The kings of Bavaria and Wurtemberg, 
Prince Murat, the Grand Duke of Berg, and several other 
sovereigns of Germany, had leagued together in an alliance 


with the French Empire ; and they constituted so formid- 
able a power that the Emperor added a new title to his 
name — the ' ' Protector ' ' of this confederacy. Thus Na- 
poleon became sovereign of a principal part of Germany, 
and his allies were obliged to furnish, at his call, 60,000 
armed men. The only method of counteracting the con- 
solidation of French power over all Germany seemed to 
be that of creating another confederacy in the Northern 
circles, capable of balancing the league of the Rhine, and 
to be known as the Northern Alliance. This alliance 
Napoleon determined to suppress. The relations between 
France and Prussia continued in an unsettled state, Prus- 
sia refusing on the one hand to embrace the Confedera- 
tion proposed by the cabinet of Berlin, and yet declining 
on the other to form part of the Rhenish league to which 
Bonaparte had frequently and urgently invited it. 

A year had elapsed since the Emperor of Russia had 
signed the famous treaty of Potsdam, wheedling the pliant 
King of Prussia and his wife with all sorts of promises, in- 
cluding an offer on the part of England to pay the costs of 
another campaign against Napoleon and his Empire. For 
some weeks strong hopes were entertained of a satisfactory 
conclusion to peace overtures, but in the end the negoti- 
ations broke up, on the refusal of Napoleon to concede 
Malta to England , unless England would permit him to 
conquer Sicily from the unfortunate sovereign whose 
Italian kingdom had already been transferred to his 
brother Joseph. 

The death of Fox, according to Napoleon himself, 
was the immediate cause of the failure of these nego- 
tiations. The Emperor maintained that had the great 
English statesman lived — he died on the 23rd of January, 


1806 — the negotiations would have been resumed and 
pushed to a successful close. When the Emperor of Rus- 
sia went to Berlin he offered Prussia all the forces of his 
own great Empire. War-like preparations of every kind 
filled the Kingdom of Prussia during August and Septem- 
ber 1 806. Notwithstanding the protestations made almost 
daily by the Prussian government, through its minister 
at Paris, towards the middle of August her preparations 
assumed such a decided character that her real object 
could no longer be concealed. A friendly letter was even 
dispatched from the King of Prussia to Napoleon and the 
French ambassador at Berlin was treated with due con- 
sideration but which was far from honest at heart. 

On the 2 ist of September Napoleon wrote to the princes 
of the Confederation of the Rhine, requesting them to fur- 
nish their contingent troops for his army, and which was 
complied with, according to treaty. On the 25th the 
Emperor quitted his imperial residence to place himself 
at the head of the army. While at the theatre at St. 
Cloud he received a dispatch from Murat containing an 
account of an attack made on French troops by some 
Prussian detatchments. * ' I see they are determined to try 
us, ' ' he said to Count Rapp and orders were immediately 
given to prepare for departure to the frontier. He 
arrived at Mayence on the 28th and on the ist of October 
passed the Rhine. 

On this same day the Prussian minister at Paris 
presented a note to Talleyrand, Minister of Foreign 
Affairs, an ultimatum in which Prussia demanded, among 
other things, that the formation of a Confederacy in the 
North of Germany should no longer be thwarted by 
French interference, to renounce the kingdoms of Holland 


and Italy, and that the French troops within the territories 
of the Rhenish league should recross the Rhine into 
France by the 8th of the same month of October, — a virt- 
ual declaration of war. 

The conduct of Prussia in thus rushing into hostilities, 
without waiting for the advance of her allies, the Rus- 
sians, was as rash as her holding back from Austria 
during the campaign of Austerlitz was cowardly. Napo- 
leon had not patience to finish reading this document, 
conveying those demands, but threw it down with 

Napoleon made answer to the Prussian note from his 
headquarters at Bamberg on October 6th. He addressed 
a proclamation to his army to inform them of the enemy 
they were about to fight. ' ' Soldiers, ' ' said he, " the war- 
cry has been heard at Berlin ; for two months our provoca- 
tion has been increased each day . . . lyCt us march — 
let the Prussian army meet with the same fate it evinced 
fourteen years ago on the plains of Champagne. ' ' Thiers, 
the eminent historian, says in his ' ' History of the Con- 
sulate and the Empire of France under Napoleon " : "It 
was the height of imprudence on the part of Prussia to 
enter into a contest with Napoleon at a moment when the 
French army, returning from Austerlitz, was still in the 
heart of Germany, and more capable of acting than any 
army ever was. ' ' 

It was evident that Napoleon did not feel the least con- 
cern about the approaching war. He wrote to his brothers 
in Naples and in Holland at this time assuring them that 
the present struggle would be terminated more speedily 
than the preceding. He called upon them to observe in 
what manner a German sovereign still dared to insult the 


soldiers of Austerlitz. Napoleon was then on the German 
side of the Rhine in person. The Prussian Council had 
directed their army to advance towards the French instead 
of lying on their own frontier, and the army accordingly 
invaded the Saxon provinces. The Elector of Saxony 
was compelled to accept the alliance vv^hich the cabinet of 
Berlin urged on him, and reluctantly joined his troops 
with those of Prussia. 

At Bamberg, on the same day he issued his proclama- 
tion to his soldiers, Napoleon said to Berthier : ' ' Marshal, 
we have a rendezvous of honor appointed for the 8th ; a 
Frenchman never fails to keep them ; but as we are told 
that a beautiful queen wishes to be a witness of the fight, 
let us be courteous, and march, without sleeping, for 
Saxony, ' ' Napoleon alluded to the Queen of Prussia who 
was with the Prussian army, dressed as an Amazon, wear- 
ing the uniform of her regiment of dragoons, "writing 
twenty letters a day ' ' said the first bulletin sent to Paris, 
' ' to fan the flame in all parts. ' ' 

No sooner did Napoleon learn that the Prussians had 
advanced into the heart of Saxony than he formed his 
plan of campaign ; and they, persisting in their advance, 
and taking up a position on the Saale, afforded him 
the means of repeating at their expense, the very man- 
oeuvres which had ruined the Austrians in the preceding 
campaign. The French commander at once perceived 
that the Prussian army was extended upon too wide a line, 
thus enabling him the better to destroy it in detail. He 
also discovered that the enemy had all its principal stores 
and magazines at Naumburg to the rearward, and he 
resolved to commence operations by an attempt to turn 
the flank and seize the magazines ere the main body of 


the Prussians, lying at Weimar, could be aware of his 
movement. The Bmperor quitted Bamberg on the 8th, 
at three in the morning, and arrived on the same day at 
Cronach. Every corps of the army was then in motion. 

The French came forward in three great divisions ; the 
corps of Ney and Soult in the direction of Hof ; Davoust, 
Murat and Bernadotte towards Saalburg and Schleiz.and 
Cannes and Augereau upon Coburg and Saalfeld. These 
last generals were opposed at Saalfeld with much firm- 
ness by Prince Louis of Prussia, cousin-german to 
the king, who imprudently abandoned the bridge 
over the Saale, — which he might have defended with 
success, — and came out into the open plain where his 
troops were overpowered by the French. Fighting hand 
to hand with a subaltern who ran up to him and cried, 
' ' Surrender, General ! ' ' the brave young oflBcer in 
brilliant uniform and adorned with all his decorations, 
replied with a sabre cut, and was immediately struck down 
by a mortal thrust in the face with a sabre, which 
occasioned it to be remarked in the second bulletin 
that ' ' the first blow of the war had killed one of its 
authors. ' ' 

Prince Frederick Christian Louis of Prussia had been very 
impatient to commence the war and urged and hastened 
hostilities. He was, besides, a man of great courage and 
talent. Rapp in his "Memoirs "says: "Napoleon, 
who did not like this, petulant eagerness, was conversing 
with us one evening respecting the generals of the enemy's 
army. Some one present happened to mention Prince 
Louis. ' As for him ' said he, ' I foretell that he will be 
killed in this campaign.' Who could have thought the 
prediction would so soon have been fulfilled ? ' ' 


The Prussians fled, leaving the bridge which gave the 
French access to the country behind the Saale. The flank 
of the Prussian position was turned ; the French army 
passed entirely around them, and Napoleon seized and 
blew up the magazines atNaumburg. The explosion 
announced to the King of Prussia and his generalissimo, 
the Duke of Brunswick, that Napoleon was in their rear. 
From this moment the Prussians were isolated and com- 
pletely cut off from all their resources — as completely as 
the army of Mack was at Ulm the year before. The 
engagement at Schleiz contributed to hasten the retreat 
of the enemy which threw away upon the roads a great 
number of muskets and hats, and leaving in the hands of 
the French 400 prisoners and as many killed or wounded. 
But the moral effect of the action was greater than the 
material, the Prussians learning for the first time the sort 
of soldiers they had to deal with. 

Napoleon was extremely pleased with this first action 
at Schleiz, as it proved how little the Prussian cavalry, 
though excellently mounted and very skillful in the man- 
agement of its horses, was to be feared by his solid 
infantry and bold horse soldiers. 

The Duke of Brunswick who flattered himself that the 
French could not debouch, hastily endeavored to concen- 
trate his forces for the purpose of cutting his way back 
again to the frontier which he had so rashly abandoned. 
Napoleon, meanwhile, had posted his divisions so as to 
watch the chief passages of the Saale, and awaited the 
coming of his outwitted opponent. 

The manifesto of Frederick William had arrived at the 
capital a day or two after Napoleon had quitted Paris for 
the camp, and it was now that he found time to answer it 


by calling on his own marshals to witness how "The 
French army has done as it was bidden ; this is the 8th of 
October, and we have evacuated the territories of the 
Confederation of the Rhine ! ' ' 

To the King of Prussia Napoleon wrote : ' 'Believe me, 
my strength is such that your forces cannot long balance 
the victory. But wherefore shed so much blood ? To 
what purpose ? I will hold to your Majesty the same 
language I held to the Emperor Alexander two days 
before the battle of Austerlitz : ' Why should we make 
our subjects slay each other? I do not prize a victory which 
is purchased by the lives of so many of my children. ' If I 
were just commencing my military career, and if I had any 
reason to fear the chances of war, this language would be 
wholly misplaced. Sire, your Majesty will be vanquished; 
you will have compromised the repose of your life, the 
existence of your subjects, without the shadow of a pretext. 
At present you are uninjured, and may treat with me in 
a manner conformable with your rank ; before a month 
has passed you will treat, but in a different position. ' ' 

On learning of the fall of Naumburg, the Prussian king 
knew full well the imminent danger of his position. His 
army was at once set in motion in two great masses, one 
commanded by himself, advancing towards Naumburg, 
the other attempting in like manner to force its passage 
through the French line in the neighborhood of Jena. 
The king's march was arrested at Auerstadt by Davoust, 
who, after a severely contested action, at length repelled 
the assailant. Napoleon himself, meanwhile, was engaged 
with the other great body of the Prussians. 

Arriving on the evening of the 13th of October at Jena, 
he at once perceived that the enemy was ready to attempt 


the advance next morning, while his own heavy train 
was still thirty-six hours' march in his rear. ' ' But, ' ' 
as the Kmperor said in his bulletin of the battle fought 
next day, ' ' there are moments in war when no consider- 
ation can balance the advantage of being before-hand 
with the enemy, and of attacking first." 

On the heights from Jena to Ivandgrafenberg he placed 
Gazan's division on the left, in the right Souchet's divi- 
sion, and in the centre and rear the foot guard. He made 
the latter encamp in a square of 4000 men, and in the 
centre of this square overlooking the plains below, he 
established his bivouac. Ever since that time the people 
have called that height " Napoleonsberg," marking by 
a heap of rough stones the spot where the Kmperor had 
spent part of that memorable night. 

The Kmperor labored hard, torch in hand, direct- 
ing and encouraging his soldiery to cut a road through a 
ledge of rocks and draw up by that means such light 
guns as he had at command to a position on a lofty 
plateau in front of Jena. It was a most formidable posi- 
tion, and one that was destined to prove more decisive 
than that of a much larger one might have been under 
other circumstances. Napoleon spent the entire night 
among the men, helped drag the guns to the cliffs, and 
offering rewards for every piece of cannon that should be 
placed on the heights. He reminded his followers that 
the Prussians were about to fight — not for honor, but for 
their lives. 

"The night," says Napoleon, "offered a spectacle 
worthy of observation ; that of the two armies, one of 
which embraced with its front an extent of six leagues, 
and peopled the atmosphere with its fires, the other, whose 



apparent fires were concentrated in a small point, and in 
both encampments activity and motion. The fires of the 
two armies were within half cannon-shot ; the sentinels 
almost touched each other, and not a movement could be 
made without being heard. " 

At about 5 o'clock Napoleon asked Marshal Soult, 
' ' Shall we beat them ? ' ' 

"Yes, if they are there," answered the marshal; "I 
am only afraid they have left. ' ' 

At that moment the first musketry was heard, 
" There they are," said the Emperor joyfully; "there 
they are 1. The business is beginning." 

Napoleon then rode through the ranks addressing his 
soldiers. He bade them remember that, a year ago, at the 
same period, they had conquered Ulm and recommended 
that they be on their guard against the Prussian cavalry, 
which had been represented as so formidable. ' ' This 
cavalry," he said, "must be destroyed here, before our 
squares, as we crushed the Russian infantry at Auster- 
litz." He told them that if they should succeed in 
endeavoring to fight their way through any point, the 
corps that would suffer them to pass, must forfeit its 
honor and character. 

The soldiers answered his animated discourse by 
demanding to be led against the enemy ; and the cries of, 
' ' Forward ! I^et us march ! ' ' were heard in every 

Again, as at Austerlitz, a cloud of mist completely 
enveloped the contending hosts. Both armies were almost 
in the heat of battle before the different divisions were 
distinguishable. Augereau commanded the right wing, 
Soult the left, Cannes the centre and Murat the reserve 


of cavalry. Escorted by men carrying torches, Napoleon 
again went along in front of the troops, talking to the 
officers and soldiers. He exhorted them to keep on their 
guard against the Prussian cavalry and to receive it in 
square with their usual firmness. His words everywhere 
drew forth shouts of " Forward ! Vive 1' Bmpereur ! " 
At that moment the corps of lyannes set itself in motion 
on a signal from JSTapoleon. 

The battle began on the right and left and the conflict 
proved terrible. Davoust, in particular, was placed in a 
situation sufficient to try a man of the most determined 
courage and firmness but Bernadotte refused to support 
him. He paraded around Apolda, while 26,000 French 
troops were engaged with 60,000 picked men, commanded 
by the Duke of Brunswick and the King of Prussia. Thus, 
says General Gourgaud, he caused the death of five or six 
thousand Frenchmen and hazarded the success of the day, 
for which he experienced a very short disgrace. Napo- 
leon on this occasion observed that Bernadotte did not be- 
have well, and that he would have felt gratified had Davoust 
been defeated ; " but," added the Kmperor, "the affair 
reflects the highest honor on the conqueror, and the more 
so, as Bernadotte rendered his situation a most difficult 
oUe." Bernadotte' s conduct was such that a decree was 
signed by Napoleon that must have resulted in his being 
shot, but out of regard to his wife the Kmperor destroyed 
the order the moment he was about to put it into the hands 
of one of his officers. 

A hand to hand struggle followed the first charge of 
the Prussians. It was received by Soult and was a doubt- 
ful engagement until Ney appeared with a fresh division 
and drove the Prussians back. Nothing but the smoke 


of battle now obstructed tbe view, the famous sun of Na- 
poleon having mounted the heavens was throwing a 
flood of light on a terrific engagement. Charge after 
charge followed, both sides maintaining their positions 
with firmness and valor. The commanders were con- 
stantly executing manoeuvres as though on parade. At 
one time the Emperor obser\^ed Ney, whom he had sup- 
posed to be in the rear, engaged with the Prussians. He 
hastened up greatly displeased, but on discovering the 
brave marshal defending himself in the centre of two weak 
squares against the whole of the Prussian cavalry, his 
displeasure gave way to admiration, and an immediate 
relief was ordered and brought up by Bertrand and Lan- 
nes. During the time that elapsed before relief arrived 
he fought as intrepidly as before, and was not in the least 
disconcerted by his hazardous position. Davoust's plans 
were so well laid, and his generals and troops displayed 
such courage and skill, that Blucher, with 12,000 cavalry, 
had not the satisfaction of penetrating through a single 
company. The king, the guards, and the whole army, 
attacked the French without obtaining better success. 
Amidst the deluge of fire that surrounded them on all 
sides, they preserved all their national gaiety. A French 
soldier, nick-named ' ' the Emperor ' ' impatient at the ob- 
stinacy of the Prussian guards, exclaimed, " On with me, 
grenadiers ! Come, follow the. Emperor ! " when, rush- 
ing into the thickest of the battle, the troops followed, 
and the enemy was penetrated. For this deed he was 
raised to the rank of a corporal. 

Napoleon, field-glass in hand, at length ordered a gen- 
eral onslaught all along the lines, to be followed by a bold 
charge of Murat's cavalry at a point where the Emperor 


had detected a weakness in the enemy's hnes. As the 
signal blast for advancing was sounded, the eager squad- 
rons that had been smelling the smoke of battle for hours 
with impatience, rushed onward to glory or to death. 
On, on they charged with all the vehemence and impet- 
uosity of the French cavalryman, each of whom believed 
that on him, and him alone, rested the fate of the day, 
and as on so many similar occasions, they were victorious. 
The sturdy Prussian columns were broken, — infantry, 
cavalry, guards and grenadiers were mowed down by 
thousands. The French infantry gave fresh proof of their 
valor and sustained their reputation at this engagement. 
In one of the charges which the divisions under Morand 
had to sustain from the numerous Prussian cavalry under 
Prince Henry, the 1 7th regiment, before presenting arms, 
placed their caps at the ends of their bayonets, crying, 
' ' Vive r Bmpereur ! " " Why not fire then ? ' ' exclaimed 
Colonel lyanusse who apprehended the enemy would be 
upon them before they were ready. ' ' Oh, time enough 
for that " they replied, " at fifteen paces you shall see." 
In fact a murderous discharge at that distance made the 
Prussians turn their horses' heads and retire. 

The ardor of the troops on this important day was such 
that some corps, which circumstances prevented from 
taking part in the engagement, loudly expressed their 
dissatisfaction. One of these traits is sufifiiciently charac- 
teristic of the soldier and the Emperor under whose eyes 
they fought. At an early period of the conflict, while 
the French cavalry was anxiously expected, Napoleon 
seeing his infantry wings in a state of agitation, being 
threatened by the enemy's cavalry, set off at a full gallop to 
direct the manoeuvres and change the front into squares. 


The infantry of the imperial guard, seeing all the rest of 
the troops engaged, while the Emperor left them in inac- 
tion, many voices were heard to cry "Forward ! " "Who 
is that ? ' ' asked the Emperor quickly, as he presented 
himself in front of the battalions ; ' ' This is some beard- 
less young man, who wishes to anticipate what I intend 
to do. lyct him wait until he has commanded in thirty 
pitched battles, before he pretends to give me advice." 

Out of the 70,000 Prussians who had appeared on the 
field of battle, not a single corps remained entire, not one 
retreated in order. Out of the 100,000 French, composed 
of the corps of Marshals Soult, I^annes, Augereau, Ney, 
Murat and the Guard, not more than 50,000 had fought, 
and they had been sufficient to overthrow the Prussian 

This rout ended in the complete breaking up of the 
Prussian army, horse and foot all flying together, in the 
confusion of panic, upon the road to Weimar. At that 
point the fugitives met and mingled with their brethren, 
flying as confusedly as themselves, from Auerstadt, 

In his account of the battle of Jena Napoleon spoke 
with pleasure of the enthusiasm shown by his soldiers 
during the heat of battle. In conclusion he said : "In 
so warm a fight, in which the enemy lost almost all their 
generals, we should thank that Providence which watched 
over our army, that no man of note has been killed or 
wounded. Marshal Lannes had his breast scratched with- 
out being wounded. Marshal Davoust had his hat carried 
away and a great number of balls in his clothes. ' ' To 
Josephine, who was awaiting the results of the campaign 
at Mayence, he wrote on October i6th: "Everything 
has turned out as I planned, and never was an army more 


thoroughly beaten and destroyed. ' ' The Emperor con- 
fessed, that, during the night before the battle of Jena, he 
had been exposed to the most imminent danger, and might 
have disappeared without anyone knowing clearly his fate. 
He had approached the bivouacs of the Prussians in the 
dark, to reconnoitre, having only a few officers about his 
person. The French army was almost everywhere on the 
alert, under a persuasion that the Prussians were strongly 
addicted to nocturnal attacks. Returning from that sur- 
vey, the Emperor was fired at by the first sentinel of his 
own camp, which proved a signal for the whole line ; and 
he had no resource left but to throw himself flat on his 
face until the mistake should be discovered. His prin- 
cipal apprehension, however, was not realized ; he feared 
least the Prussian line, then very near him, might act in 
the same manner. 

When the conflict ended 20,000 Prussians lay dead on 
the battle field, or were taken prisoners, including twenty 
generals. Among the trophies of war were 300 cannon 
and sixty royal standards. 

The Queen of Prussia was a fearless horsewoman and 
had faced great dangers at Jena. When she rode before 
her troops in her helmet of polished steel, shaded by a 
plume, in her glittering golden cuirass, her tunic of silver 
Stuff, her red boots with gold spurs, she resembled Tasso's 
heroines. The soldiers burst into cries of enthusiasm as 
they saw their warlike queen : before her were bowed the 
flags she had embroidered with her own hands and the 
old, torn, and battle-stained standards of Frederick the 
Great. After the battle she was obliged to take flight, 
at full gallop, to avoid being captured by the French 


The Duke of Brunswick, who had contended with 
Napoleon in this memorable engagement, was wounded 
in the face with a grape-shot early in the battle and was 
carried off the field never to recover. 

The various routed divisions roamed about the country 
seeking separately a means of escape, and fell an easy 
prey to the French. The Prince of Hohenlohe at length 
drew together not less than .50,000 of these wandering 
soldiers and threw himself at their head into Madgeburg, 
but that great fortress had been stripped of all its stores 
for the service of the Duke of Brunswick's army before 
Jena, and Hohenlohe was compelled to retreat. He was 
defeated in a number of skirmishes, and at length, find- 
ing himself devoid of ammunition or provisions, laid down 
his arms. The Duke of Wurtemburg, one of the Prussian 
generals, had taken a position at Halle and Bernadotte 
marched upon him. He attacked the enemy with the 
bayonet, killing and routing all who dared oppose him. 
The slaughter was dreadful and Napoleon, visiting the 
field of battle the ensuing day, was struck with the sight 
of the heaps of dead surrounding the bodies of the French 
soldiers. Observing on the uniforms some of the buttons 
of the 32d, he said with a sigh, ' ' So many of that regi- 
ment were killed in Italy, Egypt, and elsewhere, I 
thougi rone could be remaining. " 

C .aeral Blucher was shortly afterwards compelled to 
lay down his arms after a loss of 4,000 men out of 10,000 
at Lubeck, where a severe action was fought in the streets 
of the town on the 6th of November. The fortresses of 
the Prussian monarch now capitulated as fast as their 
commanders were requested to do so, and Napoleon 
entered Berlin in triumph on the 25th of October. The 


honor of taking possession of that city Napoleon reserved 
for Davoust's corps, which had contributed so much to 
the victory at Jena. 

The Prussians could not comprehend the rapid marches 
and the promptitude with which they were met in their 
flights. As the Emperor said in his 14th bulletin : 
' ' These gentry are doubtless accustomed to the manoeu- 
vres of the ' Seven Years' War. ' They would demand 
three days to bury their dead. ' Think of the living ' 
replied the Emperor, * and leave the care of interring the 
dead to us ; there is no need of a truce for that. ' ' ' 

Thus in a campaign of a week's duration had the proud 
Prussian monarchy been leveled to the ground. The 
people, believing that the fall of the military meant neces- 
sarily the fall of the monarchy itself, the pride and 
strength of the nation disappeared and every bond of union 
among the various provinces of the crown seemed to be 
at once dissolved. 

On the 25th of October, 1806, after passing in review 
the Imperial foot guards, commanded by Lefebvre, Napo- 
leon visited the tomb of Frederick the Great at Potsdam 
where were stored a number of mementos of the great 
warrior. The court of Prussia had fled with so much 
precipitancy from Potsdam, that nothing had been carried 
away. Even the sword of Frederick the Great',^^ lue belt 
and the cordon of his orders, were left there. 

On finding that the court had not thought of placing 
these relics out of the reach of invasion, the Emperor took 
possession of them. As he displayed the sword of Fred- 
erick, he said : "I prefer these trophies to all the King 
of Prussia's treasures. I will send them to my veterans 
who served in the campaigns of Hanover. I will present 


them to the Governor of the Hospital of the Invalides, who 
will preserve them as a testimony of the victories of the 
army, and the revenge it has taken for the disasters of 
Rosbach. ' ' 

" The door of the monument was open," says General 
Segur; " Napoleon paused at the entrance in a grave 
and respectful attitude. He gazed into the shadow enclos- 
ing the hero's ashes, and stood thus for nearly ten min- 
utes motionless, silent, as if buried in deep thought. There 
were five or six of us with him : Duroc, Caulaincourt, 
an aide-de-camp and I. We gazed at this solemn and 
extraordinary scene, imagining the two great men face to 
face, identifying ourselves with the thoughts we ascribed 
to our Bmperor before that other genius whose glory sur- 
vived the overthrow of his work, who was as great in 
extreme adversity as in success." 

During his stay at Berlin Napoleon issued the famous 
' ' Berlin Decrees ' ' by which he attempted to establish the 
"continental system," whose object was to shut out the 
commerce and intercourse of Great Britain from the Con- 
tinent of Europe. The ruin of France's maritime power 
at Trafalgar, and the almost universal supremacy of the 
French Empire on land left Napoleon in his own judg- 
ment, no other means of retaliation. Through this con- 
tinental system he endeavored, for several years, to 
annihilate all commercial intercourse between the conti- 
nent and England. 

The Prince of Hatzfeld was detected, during Napoleon's 
stay at Berlin, in sending secret information of the state 
and movements of the French army to the enemy. One 
of his letters fell into the hands of the French and he was 
arrested. His wife gained access to Napoleon's apart- 


ments, and, ignorant of her husband's conduct, spoke 
with the boldness of innocence in his favor. On being 
handed the letter written by her husband she was com- 
pletely overcome and fell on her knees before the Bmperor, 
imploring his forgiveness. ' ' Throw that paper into the 
fire, madam," said Napoleon, "and the military com- 
mission will then have no proof of his guilt. ' ' 

With a cry of joy the princess did as she was directed 
and the order of arrest, which would have resulted in Hatz- 
feld's death in an hour, was recalled. 

While at Berlin the Emperor addressed his troops in a 
proclamation in which he said : ' ' Our entrance into 
Potsdam and Berlin had been preceded by the fame of 
our victories. We have made 60,000 prisoners, taken 
sixty-five standards, among which are the colors of the 
King of Prussia's guards, six hundred pieces of cannon, 
and three fortresses. Among the prisoners there are 
upwards of twenty generals; yet, notwithstanding all this, 
more than half our troops regret their not having fired a 
single shot * * * Soldiers, the Russians boast of com- 
ing to meet us, but we will advance to encounter, and 
save them half their march ; they shall meet another 
Austerlitz in the heart of Prussia. A nation that can so 
soon forget our generous treatment after that battle, -owed 
their safety only to the capitulation we granted them,— is a 
power that cannot successfully contend against us. We 
will not again be the dupes of a treacherous peace." 

Before leaving Berlin Napoleon received a deputation of 
the Senate, sent from Paris to congratulate him on the 
success of his campaign. Accompanied by representatives 
from the army, he made them the bearer of the trophies 
of his recent victories. He then prepared to extinguish 


whatever resistance existed in a few garrisons of the Prus- 
sian monarchy and to meet, before they could reach the 
soil of Germany, those Russians who were now advancing, 
too late, to the assistance of Frederic William. 



Before opening the great campaign with Russia Napo- 
leon received the explanation of the Elector of Saxony, 
who truly stated that Prussia had forced him to take part 
in the war. The apology was accepted, and from this 
time the Elector adhered to the league of the Rhine and 
was a faithful ally of Napoleon. On November 25th, 1806, 
the Emperor of France left Berlin and established himself 
on the 27th at Posen, a central town of Poland, which 
country began to manifest an agitation arising from the 
animating prospect of restored independence. The 
unfortunate but brave Poles entreated his aid ; but Napo- 
leon could not make them a positive promise of their 
restoration as a kingdom. His observation on the subject 
was, " that, if the match should once be lighted, there was 
no knowing how long it might continue to burn." 

From the headquarters at Posen, Napoleon addressed 
his soldiers on December 2nd, saying : " It is a year 
ago to-day, at this very hour, that you were on the 


battlefield of Austerlitz. The dismayed Russian battal- 
ions fled in disorder, or, surrounded, gave up their arms 
to their victors. The next day they sued for peace, but 
we were imposed on : scarcely escaped by our, perhaps, 
overweening generosity, from the disasters of a third coaU- 
tion, they ventured upon a fourth . . . Soldiers, we 
will not lay down our arms until the general peace shall 
have fixed and assured the power of our allies and restored 
to our commerce its safety and its colonies." The pro- 
clamation produced an exhilarating effect on the soldiers 
and throughout Germany. 

In the meantime Warsaw was put in a state of defense, 
and the auxiliary forces of Saxony and the new confed- 
erates of the Rhine were brought up by forced marches, 
while strong reinforcements from France repaired the 
losses of the early part of the campaign. 

The French army at length advanced in full force and 
crossed successively the rivers Vistula, the Narew and Bug, 
forcing a passage wherever it was disputed, the Russian 
detachments being repulsed as often as they presented them- 
selves. But it was not the intention of Benningsen, the 
Russian general, to give battle to forces superior to | his 
own, and he therefore retreated behind the Wkra. On 
the 23rd of December Napoleon arrived in person upon 
the Wkra and ordered the advance of his army in three 
divisions. He was fully aware that he was approaching 
a conflict of a very different kind from that which he had 
maintained with Austria, and more lately against Prussia. 
These troops, however highly disciplined, wanted that 
powerful and individual feeling which was a strong char- 
acteristic of the Russians, — a feeling that induces the sol- 
dier to resist to the last moment, even when resistance can 


only assure Mm of revenge. They were, in fact, those same 
Russians of whom Frederick the Great said, ' ' that he 
could kill, but could not defeat them." They were also 
of strong constitution and inured to the iron climate in 
which Frenchmen were now fighting for the first time. 
The Cossacks are trained from early childhood to the use 
of the lance and sword, and familiarized to a horse peculiar 
to the country, — tractable, hardy, swift and sure-footed, 
beyond any breed perhaps in the world. On the actual 
field of battle the Cossack's mode of attack is singular; 
instead of acting iu line, a body of them about to charge 
disperse at the word of command, and joining in a loud 
yell and hurrah, each acting individually upon the object 
of attack, whether infantry, cavalry or artillery, to all of 
which they have been in this wild way of fighting most 
formidable assailants 

In this campaign the Cossacks took the field in great 
numbers, under their celebrated hetman Platoff . The Rus- 
sians also had in their service Tartar tribes who resemble 
the Cossacks in warfare ; but they were little better than 
hordes of roving savages. On the plain between the town 
of Pultusk and the wood the right of the Russian position 
was formed, and on December 26th they were attacked 
by the French division of lyannes and Davoust with but 
partial success. The French lost nearly 8,000 men, killed 
and wounded, while the Russian loss amounted to about 
5,000. The French retreated after nightfall. On the 
same day another division engaged in action at Golymin, 
driving back the French after which the Russian com- 
mander retreated for the purpose of concentrating his 
forces with the Grand Army. Both engagements were 
without immediate results, and instead of pressing their 


operations, the French retreated into winter quarters, Napo- 
leon withdrawing his guard]as far as Warsaw, while the' 
other divisions were cantoned in the towns to the eastward. 

Benningsen was now placed in supreme command of 
the Russian forces, amounting to 90,000 men, and he at 
once resolved not to wait for Napoleon's onset, but chose 
rather to anticipate him, wisely concluding that his enemy's 
desire of desisting from active operation, as evinced by 
cantoning his troops in winter quarters, ought to be a 
signal to the Russians to again take the field. Thus the 
French Kmperor found himself forced into a winter cam- 
paign, and he at once issued general orders for drawing out 
his forces for the purpose of concentrating them at Willen- 
berg,in the rear of the Russians, who were then stationed at 
Mohringen. The duration of the winter quarters, in which 
the French troops had been placed, lasted no longer than 
the weather would permit. The army reposed almost 
the whole of the month of December, and towards the 
beginning of January 1807, movements on both sides 
seemed to indicate more serious operations. It appeared 
the Russians had adopted a vast plan of defense. Their 
generals seemed to have regained confidence, on seeing 
Napoleon stop amidst the advantages he had acquired, and 
imputed that to fear which arose in him from motives of 
prudence. They could not imagine what other reason he 
could possibly have for going into cantonments upon the 

Napoleon now proposed to force his enemies eastward 
towards the Vistula, as at Jena he had compelled the 
Prussians to fight with their rear turned to the Rhine. 
Bernadotte had orders to engage the attention of Bennig- 
sen upon the right, and detain him in his present situation; 


or rather, if possible, to induce him to advance east- 
" ward so as to facilitate the operations he meditated. 

The Russian commander learned Bonaparte's intention 
from an intercepted dispatch, and changed his purpose of 
advancing on Ney and Bernadotte. Marches and counter- 
marches took place, through a country at all times difficult, 
and now covered with snow. Bennigsen was aware that it 
was to his advantage to protract the campaign in this 
manner, as he was near his reinforcements, and the French 
were distant from theirs: — every loss therefore telling more 
in proportion to the enemy than to his own army. 

Notwithstanding this apparent advantage, the distress 
of the Russian army was so extreme from the lack of suit- 
able provisions that it induced General Bennigsen, against 
his judgment, to give battle at all risks, and for this pur- 
pose to concentrate his forces at Preuss-Bylau, which was 
decided upon as the field which he proposed to contest 
with Napoleon. 

It had been the intention to maintain the town itself 
which Bennigsen had entered on the yth of February, and 
a body of troops had been left for that purpose ; but in 
the confusion attending the movement of so large an army, 
the orders had been misunderstood, and the division 
designed for this service evacuated the place as soon as 
the rear-guard had passed through it. A Russian division 
was hastily ordered to re-occupy the town; but they found 
the French already in possession, and although they dis- 
lodged them, they were themselves driven out in turn by 
another division of French to whom Napoleon had prom- 
ised unusual rewards. A third division of Russians now 
advanced, Bennigsen being desirous of protracting the 
contest for the town until the arrival of his heavy artillery 


which joined him by a different route. When it came up 
he would have discontinued the struggle for Kylau but it 
was impossible to control the ardor of the Russian columns 
who persevered in advancing, with drums beating, rushed 
into the town and surprised the French in the act of sack- 
ing it, — ^putting many of them to death by the bayonet. 

Another division of the French now advanced under 
cover of the hillocks and broken ground which skirt the 
village, threw their fire upon the streets and the Russians 
once more retreated with considerable loss. The town 
was now once more and finally occupied by the French. 
Night fell and the combat ceased only to be renewed with 
increased fury the next day. 

The Russians occupied a space of uneven ground, about 
two miles in length and a mile in depth, with the village 
of Serpallen on their left. In the front of their army lay 
the town of Preuss-Eylau, situated in a hollow and in pos- 
session of the French. The latter occupied Eylau with 
their left, while their centre and right lay parallel to the 
Russians, upon a chain of heights which commanded, in 
a great measure, the ground possessed by the enemy. 
The French also expected to be reinforced by Ney's divi- 
sion which had not yet come up, and which was destined 
to' form on the extreme left. The space between the 
hostile armies was open and flat, covered with snow and 
intersected with frozen lakes. The soldiers could trace 
each other's positions by the pale glimmer of watch lights 
upon the snow. 

Napoleon, who slept but three or four hours that night 
in a chair in the postmaster's house, placed the corps 
of Marshal Soult at Eylau itself, partly within the town, 
partly on the right and left of it, Augereau's corps and 



the Imperial Guard a little in the rear, and all the cavalry 
upon the wings till daylight should enable him to make 
his final disposition of the fifty odd thousand men, exclu- 
sive of Ney's corps, and which were to meet the ninety 
thousand Russians and Prussians. 

At daybreak on the 8th of February, 1807, two strong 
columns of the French advanced for the purpose of turn- 
ing the right and storming the centre of the Russians, who 
had commenced the firing at one and the same time; 
but they were driven back in great disorder by the heavy 
and sustained fire of the Russian artillery. An attack on 
the enemy's left was equally unsuccessful. The Russian 
infantry stood like stone ramparts, each time repulsing the 
French assault — their cavalry then came to the support, 
pursued the retiring assailants and took standards and 

About mid-day a heavy snowstorm set in, which 
the wind drove right in the faces of the Russians, adding 
to the obscurity caused by the smoke of the burning vil- 
lage of Serpallen that rolled along the line. The snow 
having now ceased, a melancholy spectacle presented 
itself. Thousands of dead and wounded lay on the ground, 
and several of the divisions were still hors de combat. 
Augereau's two divisions had been swept down by an 
unmasked battery of seventy-two pieces, and Augereau, 
wounded himself, but more affected by the disaster of his 
corps than by his personal danger, was carried to the 
cemetery of Eylau to the feet of Napoleon. To the Empe- 
ror he complained, not without bitterness, of the failure to 
send him timely succor. Silent grief pervaded every face 
in the imperial staff. Napoleon, calm and firm, addressed 
a few soothing words to Augereau, then sent him to the 
rear, and took measures for repairing the mischief. 


Dispatching in the first place the chasseurs of the Guard 
and some squadrons of dragoons which were at hand, he 
sent for Murat and ordered him to make a decisive effort 
on the Hne of the infantry which formed the centre of the 
Russian army, and which, taking advantage of Augereau's 
disaster began to press forward. At the first summons 
Murat came up at a gallop: "Well," said Napoleon, 
' ' are you going to let those fellows eat us up ?" He then 
ordered the heroic chief of his cavalry to collect the chas- 
seurs, the dragoons, the cuirassiers, and to fall upon the 
Russians with eighty squadrons, to see what effect such a 
mass of horse, charging furiously, would have on an in- 
fantry reputed not to be shaken. The cavalry of the 
Guard was brought forward ready to add its shock to that 
of the cavalry of the army. 

The moment was critical, for if the Russian infantry 
were not stopped it would soon attack the cemetery, the 
centre of the French position, and Napoleon had but six 
foot battalions of the Imperial Guard to defend it. Murat 
galloped off, collected his squadrons, made them pass 
between the cemetery and Rothenen where Augereau's 
corps had marched to almost certain destruction. Charge 
after charge was made and successfully resisted. At 
length one of them, rushing on with more violence, broke 
the enemy's infantry at one point and opened the breach 
through which cuirassiers and dragoons rushed, each eager 
to penetrate first. The Russians' first and second lines 
being broken, they turned the batteries of their artillery 
on the confused mass, killing as many of their own sol- 
diers as those of the French, not caring whether they 
killed friends or foes so that they got rid of the formidable 
French force; but their efforts were useless. 


Napoleon, graver than usual, in a gray riding-coat and 
Polish cap, sat motionless in the cemetery, in which were 
heaped bodies of a great number of his officers ; his Guard 
was behind him and before him the chasseurs, the 
dragoons, the cuirassiers ; they formed anew and were 
ready to devote themselves as he might direct. The 
Emperor waited long before determining definitely on 
his last attack. Never had he nor his soldiers been engaged 
in such a hotly contested fight. The bullets whistled around 
and a shell burst within a few paces of him. Auge- 
reau's arm was broken and lyannes was wounded but not 

Under cover of darkness six columns of the French now 
advanced with artillery and cavalry and were close on the 
Russian position ere they were opposed. Bennigsen, at 
the head of his staff, brought up the reserve in position, 
and, on uniting with the first line bore the French back 
at the point of the bayonet. Their columns, partly broken, 
were driven again to their own position where they rallied 
with difficulty. A French regiment of cuirassiers, which 
during this part of the action had made an opening in the 
Russian line, were charged by the Cossacks, and found 
their defensive armor no protection against the lance. All 
but eighteen were slain. 

At the moment when the Russians appeared to be the 
victors Davoust's division, which had been manoeuvring 
since the beginning of the action to turn the left and gain 
the rear of the Russian line, now made its appearance 
on the field. The effect was sudden and demoralizing to 
the Russians ; Serpallen was lost, the Russian left wing, 
and a portion of its centre were thrown into disorder, 
and forced to retire and change front. 


At this point in the contest the Prussian reinforce- 
ments, long expected, appeared in turn suddenly on the 
field, and passing the left of the French and right of the 
Russians, pushed down in three columns to redeem the 
battle on the Russian centre and rear. The Prussians, 
under their gallant leader L,' Bstocq, never fired until 
within a few paces of the enemy and then used the bay- 
onet with fearful effect. They redeemed the ground 
which the Russians had lost and drove back in their turn 
the troops of Davoust and Bernadotte who had lately been 
victorious. Ney,in the meantime appeared on the field 
with his advanced guard and occupied Schnaditten, a vil- 
lage on the road to Konigsberg. As this endangered the 
communication of the Russians with that town, it was 
thought necessary to carry it by storm ; a resolution which 
was successfully executed, the enemy's rear-guard retreat- 
ing in disorder. 

This was the last act of that bloody day at Eylau. It 
was ten o' clock at night and darkness put an end to the 
combat. After fourteen hours of fighting both armies 
occupied the same positions taken in the morning. It was 
in fact the longest and by far the severest battle Napoleon 
had yet been engaged in. At the beginning of the con- 
test, Augereau was scarcely in his senses, from the severity 
of rheumatic pain to which he was subject ; but the sound 
of the cannon awakens the brave : he flew at full gallop 
at the head of his corps, after causing himself to be tied 
to his horse ! He was constantly exposed to the hottest 
of the fire, and was only slightly wounded. 

A few days after the battle Napoleon sent to Paris 
sixteen stands of colors taken on that occasion and ordered 
the cannon to be melted down and made into a statue of 


General d' Haulpoult, in the uniform of his regiment, 
he having gallantly commanded the second division of 
cuirassiers, when he was killed in the action. 

In three letters which the Emperor wrote to Josephine 
during the month of February he alluded with the deep- 
est affection to the horrors of this engagement. ' ' We had 
yesterday," he said, "a great battle. The victory was 
mine, but I have been deprived of a great many men. 
The loss of the enemy, still more considerable, does not 
console me. " " The land is covered with dead and 
wounded," he adds in a second letter; "This is not 
the noble portion of war. One is pained, and the soul is 
oppressed at the sight of so many victims. ' ' 

In the biting frost, in face oi thousands of dead and dying, 
when the gloomy day was sinking into a night of anguish, 
the Emperor had said : ' ' This sight is one to fill rulers 
with a love of peace and a horror of war," and in his 
bulletin of the engagement he said : ' ' Imagine, on a 
space of a league square, nine or ten thousand corpses, 
four or five thousand dead horses, lines of Russian knap- 
sacks, fragments of guns and sabres ; the earth covered 
with bullets, shells, supplies ; tw^enty-four cannon, sur- 
rounded by their artillerymen, slain just as they were 
trying to take their guns away ; and all that in plainest 
relief on the stretch of snow ! ' ' 

Twelve of Napoleon's eagles were in the hands of the 
Russians, and the field between them was covered with 
50,000 corpses, of whom at least half were French. Each 
leader claimed the victory. The Russians retired from 
Eylau towards Konigsberg the very night after the battle, 
and the French made no effort to pursue but remained on 
the field nine days to allow the troops some repose. 


It was in truth a drawn battle. The point of superiority 
on this dreadful day would have been hard to decide, but 
the victory, if rightly claimed by either party, must be pro- 
nounced to have remained with Napoleon ; for Bennigsen 
retreated and left him master of the field of battle where he 
slept and remained for days ; but it was a ghastly triumph. 
During the whole time the contest lasted Napoleon's count- 
enance was ncA^er observed to change ; nor did he show 
any emotion whatever ; but all accounts agree that he was 
deeply impressed with the horrors of the succeeding 

Finally , on the 19th of February, Napoleon left By lau 
and retreated with his whole army to Osterode on the 
Vistula. Here he established his headquarters, living in 
a sort of barn, governing his Empire and con- 
trolling Europe. The doubtful issue of the battle of Eylau 
had given a shock to public opinion and it required all the 
Emperor's prudence and address to overcome it. Great 
despondency was produced in Paris by the bulletin of the 
battle and a marked depression took place in the funds. 



Napoleon soon decided that it would be fatal rashness 
to engage in another campaign in Poland while several 
fortified towns, and above all, Dantzic, held out in his 
rear. He determined to capture all these places and to 


summon new forces from France before again meeting 
in the field such enemies as the Russians had proved 
themselves to be. 

Dantzic was at length compelled to surrender on May 
7th 1807, Marshal I^febvre receiving the title of Duke of 
Dantzic in commemoration of his important success, 
after which event Napoleon's extraordinary exertions in 
hurrying supplies from France, Switzerland and the 
Rhine country, and the addition of the division of 25,000 
men which had captured Dantzic, enabled him to take 
the field again by the first of June at the head of not less 
than 280,000 men. The Russian general had also done 
all in his power to recruit his army which was now rein- 
forced by 90,000 men, during this interval. 

The Russians were in the field by the 5th of June and were 
the first assailants; but nothing but skirmishes resulted un- 
til the Russian army was forced to retire towards Heilsberg 
where they halted, and there concentrating their forces, 
made a most desperate stand. They were, however, 
overpowered by superior numbers, after maintaining their 
position during a whole day. The battle had continued 
until midnight upon terms of equality, and when the 
morning dawned the space between the Russians and 
French was literally sheeted over with the bodies of the 
dead and wounded. 

The Russians retired after the battle, crossing the river 
Aller, and on the 1 3th of June reached Friedland, a town 
of some importance on the west side of the stream, com- 
municating with the eastern, or right bank of the river by 
a long wooden bridge. It was the intention of Napoleon 
to induce the Russian general to pass by this narrow bridge 
by the left bank, and then to decoy him into a general 


action, in a position where the general difficuhy of defil- 
ing through the town, and over the bridge, must render 
retreat almost impossible. For this purpose he showed 
only such portion of his forces as induced General Ben- 
nigsen to believe that the French troops on the western 
side of the Aller consisted only of Oudinot's division, 
which had been severely handled in the battle of Heils- 
berg, and which he now hoped to altogether destroy. 
Under this deception Bennigsen ordered a Russian division 
to pass the bridge, defile through the town and march to the 
assault. The French took great care to offer no such 
resistance as would show their real strength, and Bennig- 
sen supposing he had only a single division of the French 
army before him, and forgetting the usual promptitude 
of combination for which Napoleon was distinguished, had 
pushed on and brought an action which he believed he 
could terminate quickly and triumphantly. He was soon 
led to reinforce this first division with another. This was 
followed by other still divisions, and as the engagement was 
now becoming heated the Russian general at length trans- 
ported all his army, one division excepted, to the left 
bank of the Aller, by means of the wooden bridge and 
three pontoons, and arrayed them in front of the town of 
Friedland, to overpower, as he supposed, the crippled 
division of the French to which alone he believed himself 
exposed. But no sooner had he taken this irretrievable 
step than the mask was dropped. 

Napoleon was at first unable to believe that Bennigsen 
would venture to leave any part of his army for any period 
in so perilous a position as that in which he had placed it, 
maintaining a doubtful combat with no means of retreat 
but through the entanglement of the town of Friedland, 


and across the long narrow bridge of the Aller. His 
astonishment was great, therefore, when he learned from 
the officers he sent to reconnoitre that the whole Russian 
army was crossing the bridge, with the exception of one 
small division, and forming in front of the town. He 
had secured, a victory by his numbers and position, but 
his remark to Savary, who carried him the information of 
the Russian movement, was characteristic, "Well," said 
he, ' ' I am ready now, I have an hour's advantage of them, 
and will give them the battle, since they wish for it." 
The French skirmishers advanced in force, heavy columns 
of infantry began to show themselves, batteries of cannon 
were placed in position, and Bennigsen found himself in 
the presence of the whole French army. His position, a 
sort of plain surrounded by woods and broken ground, 
was difficult to defend ; with the town and a large river in 
the rear it was dangerous to attempt a retreat, and an 
advance was prevented by the inequality of his force. 
Bennigsen found it expedient to detach 6,000 men to 
defend the bridge at Allerberg, some six miles from Fried- 
land on the Aller, and with the rest of his forces he 
resolved to maintain his present position until night, 
hoping for Prussian reinforcements from General ly' 
Bstocq, via the town of Wehlau. 

At about 10 o'clock on the morning of the 14th 
the French advanced to the attack. "This is the 
14th of June; it will be a fortunate day for us," said 
Napoleon, recurring to the most glorious day of his life ; 
" it is the anniversary of the battle of Marengo. ' ' The 
broken and wooded country which the French occupied 
enabled them to maintain and renew their efforts at pleas- 
ure, while the Russians in their exposed position could 


not make the slightest movement without being observed. 
At about noon the French seemed to be sickening of the 
contest and about to retire. This, however, was only a 
feint to give repose to such of the forces as had been 
engaged, and to bring up reinforcements. The cannonad- 
ing continued until after 4 o'clock, the Russian line 
having sustained charge after charge and had neither 
recoiled or broken before infantry or cavalry. Napoleon, 
from his point of observation near the battlefield, had 
witnessed the failure of every strategem and the charge 
of every division, and at last finding the day waning, drew 
up his full force in person for the purpose of making one 
of those desperate and generally irrisistible efforts to which 
he often resorted to force a decision of a doubtful day. 

There was not a marshal in his Empire under whom the 
troops would not behave gallantly, but when the Kmperor 
put himself at the head of his army and led them to the 
charge, nothing could resist the shock. The brave 
Oudinot, hastening up with coat perforated by balls, and 
his horse covered with blood, exclaimed to the Kmperor : 
' ' Make haste, sire, give me a reinforcement, and I will 
drive all the Russians into the water ! ' ' The day was far 
advanced, and some of Napoleon's lieutenants were of the 
opinion that they ought to defer the final and decisive 
movement till the morrow. " No ! No ! " replied Napo- 
leon. " One does not catch an enemy twice in such a 
scrape." He then made his disposition of the several 
corps for the final attack. 

Surrounded by his lieutenants, he explained to them, 
with energy and precision, the part which each of them 
had to act. Grasping the arm of Marshal Ney, and 
pointing to Friedland, the bridges, the Russians crowded 


together in front, he said : ' ' Yonder is the goal, 
march to it without looking about you ; break into that 
thick mass whatever it costs you ; enter Friedland, take 
the bridges, and give yourself no concern about 
what may happen on your right, on your left or on your 
rear. The army and I shall be there to attend to that. ' ' 

Ney at once set out at a gallop to accomplish the formid- 
able task. Struck with his martial attitude Napoleon, 
addressing Marshal Mortier, said with much satisfac- 
tion : ' ' That man is a lion ! ' ' 

The order for attack all along the line with cavalry, in- 
fantry and artillery was now given, and simultaneously the 
Russians began to yield, the French advancing at the same 
time with shouts of assured victory. The Russians were 
now obliged to retreat in front of the enemy, and in half 
an hour the rout was complete. In vain did the enemy 
make all their reser\^es advance ; Friedland was at last car- 
ried, but in the midst of a horrible carnage. The enemy 
left 20,000 men on the field, of whom 15,000 were killed 
and 5,000 wounded, and among the number thirty 

Dupont, who had been sent to assist Ney, met him in the 
heart of Friedland, then in flames, and they congratulated 
one another on the glorious success : Ney had continued to 
march straight forward, and Napoleon, placed in the centre 
of the divisions which he kept in reserve, had never ceased 
to watch his progress. It was now half past ten at 
night. Napoleon in his vast career had not gained a 
more splendid victory. He had for trophies eighty pieces 
of cannon, few prisoners, it is true, for the Russians chose 
rather to drown themselves than surrender. Twenty-five 
thousand Russians were killed as against 8,000 French. 


Out of 80,000 French 25,000 had not fired a shot. Mean- 
while the bridge and pontoons were set on fire to prevent 
the French who had forced their way into the town, from 
taking possession of them. The smoke rolling over the 
scene increased the horror of the surroundings. 

The Russian centre and right, which remained on the 
west side of the Aller, effected a retreat by a circuitous 
route, leaving on the right the town of Friedland with 
its burning bridges no longer practicable for friend or foe, 
and passed the Aller by a ford found in the very moment 
of extremity further down the river. Napoleon sent no 
cavalry in pursuit, though he had forty squadrons who 
might have cut them to pieces. Many animadversions 
have been cast upon him for not improving his victory in 
this manner ; but the reason appeared clear : his object 
was to make peace with the Emperor Alexander, and the 
butchery of the broken battalions of the Russian guard 
would in no way have forwarded that object, andnopowei 
remained to oppose itself to the immense force under 
France's victorious warrior. 

Thus ended the great battle of Friedland. " My child- 
ren," wrote Napoleon to Josephine, "have worthily 
celebrated the battle of Marengo. The battle of Fried- 
land will be equally celebrated and glorious for my people. 
It is a worthy sister of Marengo, Austerlitz and 

Napoleon visited the battlefield the next morning and 
beheld a frightful spectacle. The order of the Russian 
squares could be traced by a line of heaps of slain ; and the 
position of their artillery might be guessed by the dead 
horses. As Savary well says : " It might be truly said 
that sovereigns ought to have great interests of their 
subjects at stake to justify such dreadful sacrifices." 


The Emperor Alexander, overawed by the genius of 
Napoleon which had triumphed over troops more resolute 
than had ever before opposed him, and alarmed for the 
consequences of some decisive measure towards the reor- 
ganization of the Poles as a nation, began to think 
seriously of peace. On the 2 ist of June General Bennigsen 
asked for an armistice and to this the victor of Friedland 
gave an immediate assent on his arrival at Tilsit, On 
the 22nd of June a proclamation was addressed by Napo- 
leon to his army in which he said ; ' ' From the banks of 
the Vistula, we have arrived upon those of the Niemen 
with the rapidity of the eagle's flight. You celebrated at 
Austerlitz, the anniversary of the coronation, and you 
have this year celebrated, in an appropriate manner, the 
battle of Marengo, which put a period to the second coali- 
tion. Frenchmen, you have proved worthy of yourselves 
and me. You will return to France covered with laurels 
after having obtained a glorious peace, which carries with 
it the guarantee for its duration." 

It was known that the Emperor Alexander was on the 
other side of the Niemen, at a village not far distant, and 
Napoleon addressed his reply to the sovereign in person. 
Its purport was to the eflfect that he was quite ready to 
make peace but would not consent to an armistice, if war 
were to continue. The result was a proposal on the part 
of Alexander that an interview should take place between 
the Emperor of France and himself, which was accepted. 
The armistice was ratified on the 23rd of June and on the 
25th the Emperors of France and Russia met personally, 
each accompanied by a few attendants, on a raft moored 
midstream in the river Niemen, near Tilsit, the 
town which gave its name to the secret treaty agreed upon 


at this time. The sovereigns embraced as they met, with. 
their armies on the two banks of the river and retiring 
under a canopy, amid the cheers of the troops, had a long 
conversation, to which no one was a witness. 

At its termination the appearance of mutual good will 
and confidence was marked, and the two Emperors 
established their courts there and lived together, in the 
midst of the lately hostile armies, more like old friends 
than enemies and rivals, attempting by diplomatic means 
the arrangement of differences which had for years been 
deluging Europe with blood. By this treaty the King of 
Prussia was admitted as a party. Napoleon restoring to 
Frederick William ancient Prussia and the French con- 
quests in Upper Saxony, — the king agreeing to adopt 
the ' ' Continental System. ' ' 

The beautiful and fascinating Queen of Prussia also 
arrived at Tilsit, but too late to obtain more favorable terms 
for her country than had already been granted her hus- 
band. ' ' Forgive us, ' ' she said, as Napoleon received her, 
' ' forgive us this fatal war ; the memory of the great 
Frederick deceived us ; we thought ourselves his equal 
because we are his descendants ; alas ! we have not proved 
such ! " 

. The Queen used every strategem which wit and genius 
could devise, and every fascination to which beauty could 
lend a charm, but without avail. Foiled in her ambition 
she died soon after, it is said, of chagrin. 

No single episode in the career of Napoleon Bonaparte 
has been more adversely commented on than his alleged 
breach of faith with the Queen of Prussia, when the 
domain of her husband was absolutely at his feet. He 
always denied that he had broken his word, and according 


to his own story, as told after his final retirement, the 
Queen had no cause of complaint. 

" The Queen of Prussia was still a beautiful woman," 
he said, ' ' but she had lost many of the charms of youth. 
She evidently expected to use her powers of persuasion on 
me for the benefit of Prussia. At dinner I took a beautiful 
rose from the table and presented it to her. She took it, 
smiled sweetly, and exclaimed : 'At least with Madgeburg, 
I hope.' I answered : ' Your majesty will observe that I 
am doing the giving and you are receiving what I give. ' 

' ' I hastened the preparations for the completion of the 
treaty, and it was signed. When the Queen learned that 
Magdeburg had not been given to Prussia she was very 
angry. She went to the Czar Alexander, and said, with 
tears in her eyes : ' That man has broken his word with 
me.' ' Oh, no ! the Czar answered. ' I can hardly think 
that. I believe I have been present on every occasion 
when you have met Napoleon, and I have listened more 
carefully than you have thought. But, if ypu can prove 
to me that he made any promise that he has not kept, I 
I pledge you my word as a man I will see that he keeps it. ' 

' ' Oh, but he gave me to understand — ' 

"'That is precisely the point,' responded the Czar. 
' He has promised nothing. ' The Queen turned quickly 
and left the apartment. She was too proud to acknowledge 
that in her effort to outwit me she had been outwitted. ' ' 

At a subsequent meeting with Napoleon the Queen 
said, " Is it possible, that, after having the honor of being 
so near the hero of the century and of history, he will not 
leave me the power and satisfaction of being enabled to 
assure him he has attached me to him for life ? ' ' 


" Madam " replied the Emperor, in a serious tone, " I 
am to be pitied ; it is the result of my unhappy stars. ' ' 
He then took leave of the Queen, who, on reaching her 
carriage, threw herself on the seat in tears. 

Alexander was charmed by the presence of Napoleon, 
They spent some days at Tilsit together, and never did he 
leave the French Emperor without expressing his un- 
bounded admiration of him. "What a great man," he 
said incessantly to those who approached him ; * ' What a 
genius ! What extensive views ! What a captain ! 
What a statesman ! Had I but known him sooner how 
many faults he might have spared me ! What great 
things we might have accomplished together ! ' ' 

In July Napoleon hastened back to Paris, arriving there 
on the 27th. He was received by the Senate and other 
public bodies as well as by the people with demonstrations 
similar to those which had been shown him on his return 
from the victory at Austerlitz. Fetes and celebrations in 
honor of his achievements dazzled the world. He had 
now wrung from the last of his reluctant enemies, except 
England, the recognition of his imperial power, which 
already embraced a wider territory and a far greater 
number of subjects than Charlemagne ruled over, as Em- 
peror of the West, a thousand years before. The power 
of Napoleon, the prosperity of France, and the splendor of 
Paris may be said to have been at their greatest height at 
this period. The regulation of the whole Empire lay in 
the hand of Napoleon himself, and as the glory of France 
had always been, and continued to be his grand object, 
every faculty of his intellect was bent to its promotion. 

" I am inclined to think that I was happiest at Tilsit," 
said Napoleon one day to Gourgaud at St. Helena on 



being asked at what time he was happiest. ' ' I had exper- 
ienced vicissitudes, cares, and reverses' ' , he continued, 
' ' Eylau had reminded me that fortune might abandon 
me, and I found myself victorious, dictating peace, with 
emperors and kings to form my court. After all that is 
not a real enjoyment. Perhaps I was really more happy 
after my Italian victories hearing the people raise their 
voices, only to bless their liberator, and all that at twenty- 
five years of age ! From that time I saw what I might 
become, I already saw the world flying beneath me, as if 
I had been carried through the air. ' ' 

Napier, the eminent historian, and himself an actor in 
many of the scenes he describes, says : ' ' Up to the peace 
of Tilsit, the wars of France were essentially defensive ; 
for the bloody contest that wasted the Continent so many 
years was not a struggle for pre-eminence between ambi- 
tious powers — not a dispute for some acquisition of ter- 
ritory — nor for the political ascendency of one or another 
nation — but a deadly conflict to determine whether aristoc- 
racy or democracy should predominate — whether aristoc- 
racy or privilege should henceforth be the principle of 
European governments. ' ' 

On the 15th of August the Emperor repaired in great 
pomp to Notre Dame, where the Te Deum was sung and 
thanksgiving offered up for the peace of Tilsit — a peace 
that gave much glory to France, but which as has gener- 
ally been conceded, was " poor politics " ; but, as Thiers 
has well said : "In war Napoleon was guided by his 
genius, in politics by his passions." 


At the signing of the treaty of Tilsit Napoleon had 
attained an eminence which, had his career ended at that 
time, would have left him a name revered by all the world 
— except, perhaps, it be by those enemies whom he had 
defeated on the field of battle. His star of destiny, how- 
ever, was soon to be dimmed by acts which he ever after- 
wards regretted, and which, as he himself more than once 
declared, were the means to the end which finally caused 
his decline and fall. 

Napoleon now turned his attention to Spain, where 
scenes shocking to morality were being enacted under the 
protection of Charles IV. , the old and imbecile Bourbon 
king, in order, as he then believed, to insure the success 
of his " continental system." Ferdinand, the crown 
prince, had formed a party against his father and was 
attempting to dethrone him, while murderous courtiers 
filled the halls of the royal palace of Madrid, and dictated 
laws to the crumbling monarchy. 

The vast extent to which the prohibited articles 
and colonial manufactures of England found their way 
into the Spanish peninsula, and especially into Portugal, 
and thence through the hands of whole legions of auda- 
cious smugglers into France itself, had fixed the attention 
of Napoleon, who was exasperated ac the violation of his 
* ' Berlin decrees ' ' against the continental traffic with Eng- 
land. In truth, a proclamation issued at Madrid shortly 



before the battle of Jena, and suddenly recalled on the 
intelligence of that great victory, had prepared the Empe- 
ror to regard with keen suspicion the conduct of the 
Spanish court, and to trace every violation of his system 
to its deliberate and hostile connivance. Napoleon knew 
that the Spanish cabinet, like that of Austria, was ready 
to declare itself the ally of Russia, Prussia and England, 
when the battle of Jena came to deceive the hopes of the 
coalition. The last hour of the ancient regime was at 
hand beyond the Pyrenees ; Napoleon felt himself called 
upon to give the signal to sound the fearful knell of its 

A treaty was ratified at Fontainebleau on the 29th of 
October 1807 between Erance and Spain, providing for the 
immediate invasion of Portugal by a force of 28,000 Erench 
soldiers, under the orders of Junot, and of 27,000 Span- 
iards ; while a reserve of 40,000 Erench troops were to be 
assembled at Bayonne ready to take the field by the end 
of November, in case England should lend an army for 
the defense of Portugal, or the people of that country 
meet Junot by a national insurrection. Junot forthwith 
commenced his march through Spain, where the Erench 
soldiery were everywhere received with coldness and 
suspicion, but nowhere by any hostile movement of the 
people. He arrived in Portugal, on a peremptory order 
from Napoleon, late in November. The contingent of 
Spaniards arrived there also, and placed themselves under 
Junot' s command. 

On November 29th, and but a few hours before Junot 
made his appearance at the gates of lyisbon, the prince- 
regent fled precipitately and sailed for the Brazils. The 
disgust of the Portugese at this cowardly act was eminently 


useiul to the invaders, and with the exception of one 
trivial insurrection, when the conqueror took down the 
Portugese arms and set up those of Napoleon in their 
place, several months passed in apparent tranquility. 
"The House of the Braganza (Bourbon's), had ceased to 
reign," as announced in the " Moniteur " at Paris. 

Napoleon thus saw Portugal in his grasp ; but he had 
all along considered it as a place of minor importance, and 
availing himself of the treaty of Fontainebleau, — although 
there had been no insurrection of the Portugese, he ordered 
his army of 40,000 men, named in the treaty, to proceed 
slowly but steadily into the heart of Spain and, without 
opposition. The royal family quietly acquiesced in this 
movement for some months, Ijeing apparently much more 
interested in its own petty conspiracies and domestic broils. 
A sudden panic at length seized the king and his minister, 
who prepared for flight. On the i8th of March, 1808, the 
house of Godoy, the court favorite, was sacked by the 
populace, Godoy himself assaulted, and his life saved 
with extreme difficulty by the royal guards, who placed 
him under arrest. At this Charles IV. abdicated his 
throne in terror, and on the 20th of March Ferdinand his 
son was proclaimed king at Madrid amid a tumult of pop- 
ular applause. 

Murat had, ere this, assumed command of all the French 
troops in Spain, and hearing of the extremities to which 
the court factions had gone, he now moved rapidly on 
Madrid, surrounded the capital with 30,000 troops and 
on the 23rd of March took possession of it in person at the 
head of 10,000 more. Charles IV. , meanwhile, dispatched 
messengers both to Napoleon and to Murat asserting that 
his abdication had been involuntary, and invoking their 
assistance against his son. 


Ferdinand entered Madrid on the 24th, found the 
French general in command of the capital, and in vain 
claimed his. recognition as king. Napoleon heard with 
regret of the action of Murat, who had risked arousing 
the pride and anger of the Spaniards. He therefore sent 
Savary, in whose practiced skill he hoped to find a remedy 
for the military rashness of Murat, and who was to assume 
the chief direction of afiairs at Madrid. 

Ferdinand was at length persuaded by Savary that his 
best chance of securing the aid and protection of Napo- 
leon lay in meeting him on his way to the Spanish capital 
and strive to gain his ear before the emissaries of Godoy 
should be able to make an impression concerning Charles' 
rights. Ferdinand, therefore, took his departure, and 
passing the frontier, arrived at Bayonne on the 20th of 
April where he was received by Napoleon with courtesy. In 
the evening he was informed by Savary, who had accom- 
panied him, that his doom was sealed, — ' ' that the Bourbon 
dynasty had ceased to reign in Spain," and that his per- 
sonal safety must depend on the readiness with which he 
should resign all his pretensions into the hands of 

Murat was now directed to employ means to have the 
old king and queen repair also to Bayonne, which they 
did, arriving there on May 4th. Following a bitter family 
quarrel, Charles IV. resigned the crown of Spain for him- 
self and his heirs, accepting in return from the hands of 
Napoleon a safe retreat in Italy and a splendid mansion. 
At the first interview Charles IV. and his son were irrevo- 
cably judged. " "When I beheld them at my feet," Na- 
poleon said later, "and could judge of all their 
incapacity, I took pity on the fate of a great nation ; I 


-seized the only opportunity which fortune presented me 
with, for regenerating Spain, separating her from England 
and closely uniting her with our system." A few days 
afterward Ferdinand VII. followed the example of his 
father and executed a similar act of resignation. 

A suspicion that France meditated the destruction of the 
national independence in Spain now began to spread, and 
on the 2nd of May when Don Antonio, president of the 
Council of Regency at Madrid, and uncle of Ferdinand, 
began preparations for departing from the capital, the in- 
habitants became much enraged. A crowd collected around 
the carriage intended, as they concluded, to convey the 
last of the royal family out of Spain ; the traces were cut 
and imprecations heaped upon the French. Coloael L,a 
Grange, Murat's aide-de-camp, happening to appear on 
the spot, was cruelly maltreated, and in a moment the 
whole capital was in an uproar. The French soldiery were 
assaulted everywhere, about seven hundred being slain. 
The French cavalry, hearing the tumult, entered the city 
and a bloody massacre ensued. Many hundreds were made 
prisoners. The troops then charged through the streets 
from end to end, released their comrades, and ere nightfall 
had apparently restored tranquility. Murat ordered all the 
prisoners to be tried by a military commission, which 
doomed them to instant death. 

The reports of the insurrection spread rapidly through- 
out the peninsula, and in almost every town in Spain 
depredations were committed against the French citizens, 
many of the acts being fomented by agents of England, 
whose navies hung along the coast inflaming the passions 
of the multitude. 


Napoleon received this intelligence with alarm, but he 
had already gone too far to retreat. He proceeded, there- 
fore, to act precisely as if no insurrection had occurred. 
Tranquility being re-established in Madrid the Council of 
Castile was convoked and Napoleon's brother Joseph was 
chosen by an imperial decree as their ruler. Ninety-five 
notables met him in Bayonne and swore fealty to him and 
a new constitution. Joseph on entering Spain was met 
by many demonstrations of disapproval and hatred, but the 
main road being occupied with Napoleon's tr6ops, he 
reached Madrid in safety. 

England now became anxious to afford the Spaniards 
every assistance possible. On the 4th of July the king 
addressed the English parliament on the subject, declaring 
that Spain could no longer be considered the enemy of 
Great Britain, but was recognized by him as a natural 
friend and ally. Supplies of arms and money were liberally 
transmitted thither, and Portugal, catching the flame, and 
bursting into general insurrection, a treaty of alli- 
ance, offensive and defensive was soon concluded between 
England and the two kingdoms of the peninsula. 

It was impossible for Napoleon to concentrate the whole 
of his gigantic strength of 500,000 men on the soil of 
Spain, as his relations with those powers on the Continent 
whom he had not entirely subdued, were of the most 
unstable character. His troops, moreover, being drawn 
from a multitude of different countries and tongues, could 
not be united in heart or discipline like the soldiers of a 
purely national army. On the other hand the military 
genius at his command had never been surpassed in any 
age or country. His officers were accustomed to victory, 
and his own reputation exerted a magical influence over 
both friends and foes. 


At the moment when the insurrection occurred, 20,000 
Spanish troops were in Portugal under the orders of Junot ; 
15,000 more under the Marquis de Roma were serving 
Napoleon in Holstein, There remained 40,000 Spanish 
regulars, 1 1,000 Swiss and 30,000 militia to combat 80,000 
French soldiers then in possession of half of the chief fort- 
resses of the country. 

After various petty skirmishes, in which the French 
were uniformly successful, Bessieres came upon the united 
armies of Castile, Leon and Galicia, commanded by 
Generals Cuesta and Blak on the 14th of July at Riosecco, 
and defeated them in a desperate action in which not less 
than 20,000 Spaniards were killed. This calamitous battle 
opened the gates of Madrid to the new king, who arrived at 
the capital on the 20th of the month only to quit it again in 
less than a fortnight to take up his head quarters at Vit- 
toria to preserve his safety. The English government, 
meanwhile, had begun its preparations for interfering 
effectually in the affairs of the peninsula. Thousands of 
English troops were landed, Dupont, I^efebvre and Junot 
meeting with reverses that resulted finally in the evacua- 
tion of the whole French army from Portugal. 

The battle of Baylen was one of the first and most 
fatal reverses of the French. Here, after a desperate 
engagement on the 23rd of July, upwards of 18,000 men, 
under' General Dupont, surrendered to the Spaniards, 
defiled before the Spanish army with the honors of war, 
and deposited their arms in the manner agreed on by both 
parties. General Dupont and all the ofiicers concerned in 
the capitulation, who were permitted to return to 
France, were arrested and held in prison. Napoleon 
deeply appreciated the importance of the reverse which 


his armies had sustained, but he still more bitterly felt the 
disgrace. It is said that to the latest period of his life he 
manifested uncontrollable emotion at the mention of this 
disaster. Subsequently an imperial decree appeared, which 
prohibited every general, or commander of a body of men, 
to treat for any capitulation while in the open field ; and 
declared disgraceful and criminal, and as such, punishable 
with death, every capitulation of that kind, of which the 
result should be to make the troops lay down their arms. 

The catastrophe at Baylen and the valiant defense of 
Saragossa had in some measure opened the eyes of Na- 
poleon to the character of the nation with whom he was 
contending. He acknowledged, too late, that he had 
imprudently entered into war, and committed a great fault 
in having commenced it with forces too few in number 
and too wildly scattered. On hearing of the ill-luck of his 
three generals, he at once preceived that affairs in the 
peninsula demanded a keener eye and a firmer hand than 
his brother's, and he at once resolved to take the field 
himself, to cross the Pyrenees in person at the head of a 
force capable of sweeping the whole peninsula ' ' at one 
fell swoop," and restore to his brother's reign the auspices 
of a favorable fortune. 

When setting out from Paris in the early part of October, 
1808, the Emperor announced that the peasants of Spain 
had rebelled against their king, that treachery had caused 
the ruin of one corps of his army, and that another had 
been forced by the English to evacuate Portugal. Recruit- 
ing his armies on the German frontier and in Italy, he now 
ordered his veteran troops to the amount of 2oo,ooo,includ- 
ing a vast and brilliant cavalry and a large body of the 
Imperial Guards, to be drafted from those frontiers 
and marched through France towards Spain. 


As these warlike columns passed through Paris Napo- 
leon addressed to them one of those orations that never 
failed to fill them with enthusiasm. * ' Comrades, ' ' said he 
at a grand review which was held at the Tuileries on the 
nth of September, " after triumphing on the banks of the 
Danube and the Vistula, with rapid steps you have passed 
through Germany. This day, without a moment of repose, 
I command you to traverse France. Soldiers, I have need 
of you. The hideous presence of the English leopard 
contaminates the peninsula of Spain and Portugal. In 
terror he must fly before you. I^et us bear our triumph- 
ant eagles to the pillars of Hercules ; there also we have 
injuries to avenge. Soldiers ! You have surpassed the 
renown of modern armies ; but you have not yet equalled 
the glory of those Romans, who, in one and the same 
campaign were victorious on the Rhine and the Euphrates, 
in Illyria and on the Tagus ! A long peace, a lasting 
prosperity, shall be the reward of your labors. A real 
Frenchman could not, should not rest, until the seas are 
free and open to all. Soldiers, what you have done and 
what you are about to do, for the happiness of the French 
people, and for my glory, shall be eternal in my heart." 

Having thus dismissed his faithful troops, Napo- 
leon himself traveled rapidly to Erfurt, where he had 
invited the Emperor Alexander to confer with him. Here 
they addressed a joint letter to the King of England, pro- 
posing once more a general peace, but as they both refused 
to acknowledge any authority in Spain save that of King 
Joseph, the answer was in the negative. Austria also posi- 
tively refused to recognize Joseph Bonaparte as King 
of Spain, and this answer was enough to satisfy Napoleon 
that she was determined on another campaign. 


On the i4tli of October the conference at Krfurt termi- 
nated, Napoleon sincerely believing himself the friend of 
Alexander, and little thinking he would one day say of 
him : " He is a faithless Greek ! ' ' Ten days later Napo- 
leon was present at the opening of the legislative session 
at Paris, where he spoke with confidence of his designs 
and hopes in regard to Spain. ' ' I depart in a few days 
to place myself at the head of my troops," he said, "and, 
with the aid of God, to crown the king of Spain in 
Madrid, and plant my eagles on the forts of lyisbon. 

Two days later he left the capital and reached 
Bayonne on the 3rd of November, where he remained 
directing the movements of the last columns of his army 
until the morning of the 8th, He arrived at Vittoria, the 
headquarters of his brother Joseph, on the same evening. 
At the gates of the town he was met by the civil and 
military authorities, where sumptuous preparations had 
been provided, but instead of accepting their hospitality, 
entered the first inn he observed, and calling for maps and 
a detailed report of the position of all the armies, French 
and Spanish, proceeded instantly to draw up his plan for 
the prosecution of the war. Within two hours he had com- 
pleted his task. Soult, who had accompanied him from 
Paris, set off on the instant, and within a few hours the 
whole machinery of the army, comprising 200,000 men, 
was in motion. 

Kre long Napoleon saw the main way to Madrid open 
before him, except some forces said to be posted at the 
strong defile of the Somosierra, within ten miles of the 
capital. Saragossa on the east, the British army in Port- 
ugal on the west, and Madrid in front were the only far- 
separated points on which any show of opposition was still 


to be traced from the frontiers of France to those of Port- 
ugal, and from the sea cost to the Tagus. 

Having regulated everything on his wings and rear, 
the Emperor with his Imperial Guards and the first division 
of the army, now marched towards Madrid, his vanguard 
reaching the foot of the Somosierra chain on the 30th of 
November, Here he found that a corps of 1 2 , 000 or 1 3 , 000 
men had been assembled for the defense of that pass under 
General San Juan, an able and valiant officer who had 
established an advance guard of 3,000 men at the very 
foot of the slope which the French would have to 
ascend, and then distributed over 9,000 men at 
the pass of Somosierra, at the bottom of the gorge; there 
the advancing army would be obliged to go through. One 
part of San Juan's force, posted on the right and left of the 
road, which formed numerous windings, was to stop 
the advance of the French by a double fire of musketry. 
The others barred the causeway itself, near the most diffi- 
cult part of the pass, with the battery. The defile was 
narrow and excessively steep, and the road completely 
swept by sixteen pieces of cannon. 

At daybreak on the ist of December the French began 
their attempts to turn the flank of San Juan, who imagined 
himself invincible in his position. Three battalions 
scattered themselves over the opposite sides of the defile 
and a warm skirmishing fire had begun. At this moment 
Napoleon came up, at the head of the cavalry of his Guard 
rode into the mouth of the pass, surveyed the scene for 
an instant, and perceiving that his infantry was making 
no progress, at once conceived the daring idea of causing 
his brave Polish lancers to charge np the causeway 
in face of the battery. 


The Emperor had stopped near the foot of the moun- 
tain and attentively examined the enemy's position, the 
fire from which seemed to redouble, many balls falling 
near him, or passing over his head. Colonel Pire was 
first dispatched at the head of the Poles and having 
reconnoitred the position, countermanded the advance, and 
sent an officer to notify Napoleon ' ' that the undertaking 
was impossible." Upon this information the Emperor 
much irritated and striking the pommel of his saddle 
exclaimed, "Impossible ! Why, there is nothing impos- 
sible to my Poles. ' ' 

General Wattier, who was present endeavored to calm 
him but he still continued to exclaim, "Impossible! I 
know of no such word. What, my Guard checked by 
the Spaniards, — by armed peasants?" At this moment 
the balls began to whistle about him and several ofiicers 
came forward and persuaded him to withdraw. Among 
these Napoleon observed Major Philip Segur ; to him he 
said, ' ' Go, Segur, take the Poles, and make them take 
the Spaniards, or let the Spaniards take them." 

Colonel Pire, having informed Kozietulski, commander 
of the Polish troops, of what the Emperor had said, that 
officer replied, "Come then alone with me, and see if the 
devil himself, made of fire as he is, would undertake this 
business. ' ' 

Advancing, they saw 13,000 Spaniards placed as if in 
an amphitheatre in such a way that no one battalion was 
masked by another, and they could only join in columns. 
From that point the Poles had to sustain forty thousand 
discharges of musketry and as many of cannon, every 
minute. However, the order was positive. 


"Commandant," saidSegur, "let us go, it is the Em- 
peror's wish ; the honors will be ours ; Poles advance. 
Vive r Kmpereur ! ' ' Napoleon wished to teach his sol- 
diers that with the Spaniards they must not consider 
danger, but drive them wherever found. 

The smoke of the skirmishers on the side hills mingled 
with the thick fog and vapors of the morning, and under this 
veil the brave cavalry of the Guard led the way fearlessly 
and rushed up the ascent. A brilliant cavalry officer, 
General Montbrun, at this time somewhat out of favor 
with the Emperor, advanced at the head of the Polish 
light horse, a young troop of elite which Napoleon had 
formed at Warsaw that he might have all nations and 
costumes in his Guard. General Montbrun with those 
gallant young soldiers dashed at a gallop upon the cannon 
of the Spaniards, and in defiance of a horrible fire of 
musketry. The first squadron received a discharge which 
threw it into disorder, sweeping down thirty or forty men 
in the ranks; but those that followed, passing 
beyond the wounded, reached the pieces, cut down the 
gunners and took all the cannon. 

As the rushing steeds passed the Spanish infantry the 
latter fired and then threw down their guns, abandoned their 
intrenchments and fled. The brave San Juan, covered 
with blood, having received several wounds, strove in 
vain to stop his soldiers, who fled to the right and to the 
left in the mountains, leaving colors, artillery, 200 wagons 
with stores and almost all the officers in the hands of the 
victors. By the time the Emperor reached the top not 
only was the French flag found floating over Buitrago, 
but Montbrun 's cavalry was pursuing the routed Spanish a 
league beyond the town. 


Napoleon was delighted to have proved to his generals 
what the Spanish insurgents were,what his soldiers were, 
and in what estimation both were to be held, and to have 
overcome an obstacle which some had seemed to think ex- 
tremely formidable. The Poles had about fifty men killed 
or wounded. That evening Napoleon complimented and 
rewarded the survivors and included in the distribu- 
tion of his favors M. Philippe de Segur who had received 
several shot wounds in this charge; he also destined him to 
carry to the lyCgislative Body at Paris the colors taken at 
Somosierra and appointed Montbrun general of division. 

On the morning of the 2nd three divisions of French 
cavalry made their appearance on the high ground to the 
north-west of the capital. The inhabitants of Madrid for 
eight days had been preparing to resist an invasion. Six 
thousand regular troops were within the town, and crowds 
of citizens and of the peasantry of the adjacent country 
were in arms with them. The pavement had been taken, 
up, the streets barricaded, the houses on the outskirts 
loop-holed and occupied by a strong garrison. Many per- 
sons, suspected of adhering to the side " of the French, 
were put to death, and amid the ringing of the bells of 
churches and convents, a general uprising for all means 
of defense was in operation when the French cavalry 

The day was the anniversary of Napoleon's coronation 
and of the battle of Austerlitz, and for the Bmperor as 
well as his soldiers a superstition was attached to that 
memorable date. The fine cavalry, on beholding its 
glorious chief, raised unanimous acclamations, which 
mingled with the shouts of rage sent up by the Spaniards 
on seeing the French at their portals. 


At noon the town was summoned to open its gates. The 
young officer carrying the message barely escaped with 
his Hfe, the mob being determined to massacre him. Only 
the interference of the Spanish regulars saved his life by 
.snatching him out of the hands of the assassins. The 
Junta directed a Spanish general to convey a negative 
answer to the summons of the French. When sent back 
he was assured that firing would commence immediately, 
although told that in resisting they would only expose a 
population of women, and children and old men to the 
slaughter, and was informed that the city could not hold 
out long against the French army. 

Napoleon waited until his artillery and infantry came 
up in the evening and then the place was invested on one 
side. The Kmperor made a reconnaissance himself on 
horseback around Madrid and formed the plan of attack 
which might be divided into several successive acts, so as 
to summon the place after each of them, and to reduce it 
rather by intimidation than by the employment of formid- 
able military means. 

At midnight the city was again summoned and the 
answer still being defiant, the batteries began to open. 
Terror now began to prevail within, and shortly afterward 
the city was summoned for the third time. Thomas de 
Morla, the governor, came to demand a suspension of arms. 
He said that all sensible men in Madrid were convinced 
of the necessity of surrendering ; but that it was necessary 
to make the French troops retire and allow the Junta time 
to pacify the people and to induce them to lay down their 

Napoleon replied with some show of anger that Morla 
himself had excited and misled the people: "Assemble 
the clergy, the heads of the convents, the alcaldes, the 



principal proprietors, ' ' he said ' ' and if between this and 
six in the morning the city has not surrendered it shall 
have ceased to exist. I neither will nor ought to with- 
draw my troops . . . Return to Madrid. I give yoM till six 
tomorrow morning. Go back, then ; you have nothing 
to say to me about the people but to tell me that they have 
submitted. If not, you and your troops shall be put to 
the sword. ' ' 

Morla returned to tb town and urged the necessity of 
instantly capitulating, \ which all the authorities but Cos- 
tellas, the commander Oi. the regular troops agreed. The 
peasantry and citizens continued firing on the French 
outposts during the night and then Costellas, seeing that 
further resistance was useless, withdrew his troops and 
sixteen cannon in safety. 

At eight o' clock on the morning of the 4th Madrid 
surrendered. The Spaniards were at once disarmed and 
the French troops filled the town and established them- 
selves in the great buildings. Napoleon took up his res- 
idence in a country house near the capital. He gave 
orders for a general and immediate disarming, and tran- 
quility was once more restored, the shops and theatres 
being opened as usual. 

Napoleon now exercised all the rights of a conqueror 
and issued edicts abolishing, among other evils, the 
Inquisition of the Jesuits, as well as the feudal institutions 
of the Middle Ages. He received a deputation of the chief 
inhabitants who came to signify their desire to see his 
brother Joseph among them again. His answer was that 
Spain was his own by right of conquest ; that he could 
easily rule it by viceroys ; but if they chose to assemble in 
their churches, priests and people, and swear allegiance to 


Joseph, he was not indisposed to listen to their request. 
He distinctly affirmed that he would, in case they proved 
disloyal, put the crown upon his own head, treat the country 
as a conqured province and find another kingdom for his 
brother : "for " added he, ' 'God has given me both the 
inclination and the power to surmount all obstacles. ' ' 

Meanwhile Napoleon was making arrangements for 
the completion of his conquest. His plan was to invade 
Andalusia, Valencia and Galicia by his lieutenants, and 
march in person to Lisbon. 

On learning on December 19th that the English army 
under Sir John Moore, amounting to 20,000, men, had put 
itself in motion, had advanced into Spain and left Salamanca 
to proceed to Valladolid ; that a separate British corps 
of 13,000 men under Sir David Baird had recently landed 
at Corunna with orders to march through Galicia and 
effect a junction with Moore, either at Salamanca or Val- 
ladolid, Napoleon resolved to advance in person and over- 
whelm Moore. His resolution was instantly taken with 
that promptness of decision and unerring judgment 
which never forsook him. He instantly put himself at the 
head of 50,000 men and marched with incredible rapidity, 
with the view of intercepting Moore's communications 
with Portugal, and in short hemming the English com- 
mander in between himself and Soult. 

Moore no sooner heard that Napoleon was approaching 
than he perceived the necessity of an immediate retreat ; 
and he commenced, accordingly, a most calamitous one 
through the naked mountains of Galicia, in which his 
troops displaj^ed a most lamentable want of discipline. 
They ill-treated the inhabitants, straggled from their ranks, 
and in short lost the appearance of an army except when 


the trumpet warned them that they might expect the 
French to charge. 

L/caving Chamartin on the morning of the 22nd. of 
December Napoleon arrived at the foot of the Guadarrama 
as the infantry of his Guard was beginning to ascend 
it. The weather, which till then had been superb, had 
suddenly become terrible, and at the very moment when 
forced marches were to be performed, as it was necessary 
that they lose no time in coming up with the English. 

Napoleon, seeingtheinfantry of his Guard accumulating 
at the entrance of the gorge, in which the gun-carriages 
were also crowded together, spurred his horse into a 
gallop, and gained the head of the column which he found 
detained by the hurricane. The peasants declared that it 
was impossible to pass without being exposed to the 
greatest dangers. This, however, was not sufl&cient to 
stop the conqueror of the Alps. He made the chasseurs 
of his Guard dismount, and ordered them to advance first 
in close column, conducted by guides. These bold fellows, 
marching at the head of the army, and trampling down 
the snow with their own feet and those of their horses, 
formed a beaten track for the troops who followed. 

The Emperor himself climbed the mountain on foot, 
amidst the chasseurs of his Guard, merely leaning, when 
he felt fatigued, on the arm of General Savary. The cold, 
which was as severe as at Eylau, did not prevent him 
from crossing the Guadarrama. General Marbot, who 
accompanied Napoleon on the journey, says in his " Me- 
moirs" : "A furious snowstorm, with a fierce wind, 
made the passage of the mountains almost impracti- 
cable. Men and horses were hurled over preci- 
pices. The leading battalions had actually begun to 


retreat ; but Napoleon was resolved to overtake the Eng- 
lish at all cost. He spoke to the men, and ordered that 
the members of each section should hold one another by the 
arm. The cavalry, dismounting, did the same. The staff 
was formed in similar fashion, the Emperor between 
I^annes and Duroc, we following with locked arms ; and 
so, in spite of wind, snow and ice, we proceeded, though 
it took us four hours to reach the top. Half way up the 
marshals and generals, who wore jackboots, could go no 
farther. Napoleon, therefore, got hoisted on to a gun, 
and bestrode it ; the marshals and generals did the same, 
and in this grotesque order they reached the convent at the 
summit. There the troops were rested and wine served 
out. The descent though awkward, was better. ' ' 

Napoleon spent the night in a miserable post-house in 
the little village of Espinar. On the mules laden with 
his baggage had been brought the wherewithal to serve 
him with supper, and which he shared with his officers, 
cheerfully conversing with them on that series of extra- 
ordinary adventures which had commenced at the school of 
Brienne — to end, he knew not where ! 

Next day the Emperor proceeded with his Guard ; but 
the infantry advanced with difficulty and the artillery 
c'ould not stir owing to the frightful quagmires. The 
stragglers and baggage came up slowly while Napoleon, 
anxious to meet the fleeing English troops, pushed 
on with his advance guard and with his chasseurs until 
Benevento was reached. Here he came up with his own 
troops in pursuit of Moore at Benevento, on the 29th of 
December, and enjoyed for a moment, from his headquarters 
established there, the spectacle of the English army in full 


The French columns seemed to rival each other in their 
efforts to overtake the enemy. In their precipitation the 
English abandoned their sick, hamstrung their horses, 
when unable to keep up with them, and destroyed the 
greater part of their ammunition and baggage. 

Marshal Soult, who had taken another road, was much 
nearer the enemy. His orders to follow the English 
intermission were difficult of accomplishing as the mud was 
deep and the soldiers sank up to their knees. 

Napoleon now decided that Moore was no longer worthy 
of his own attention and intrusted the consummation of his 
ruin to Soult, who was ordered to pursue the English to the 
lastextremity, and "with his sword at their loins. ' ' He there- 
fore set out at once, his troops marching past the Emperor. 

Soult hung close on the rear of the English; he came up 
with them in the mountains of Leon and continued to 
pursue them until they reached the port of Corunna. Here 
Moore preceived that it would be imposible to embark with- 
out a convention or battle and he chose the latter. The 
attack was made by the French on the 1 6th of January in 
heavy columns and with their usual vivacity ; but it was 
sustained and repelled by the English and they were per- 
mitted to embark without further molestation. Sir John 
Moore fell in the action mortally wounded by a cannon 
shot. His body was wrapped in a military cloak, instead 
of the usual vestments of the tomb, and deposited in a 
grave hastily dug on the ramparts of the citadel of Cor- 
unna, while the guns of the enemy paid him funeral 
honors. The next morning the genadiers of France, who 
had been struck with admiration at the chivalry of the 
English commander, gathered reverently around the new- 
made grave, and while the EngUsh fleet was yet visible on 


the bosom of the Mediterranean, they erected a monument 
over his body and placed thereon an appropriate 

Napoleon, having been informed of the embarkation of 
the English army, instead of returning to Madrid to com- 
plete his Spanish conquest, proceeded at once towards 
Astorga where his fears with reference to Austria were 
heightened by news from Paris by courier. The storm 
that was gathering once more along the shores of the 
Danube was of more vital consequence to France than the 
kingdom of Joseph Bonaparte. On his arrival at Astorga 
he changed all his plans. "It was late at night when 
the Emperor and I/annes, escorted only by their staffs, and 
some hundred cavalry, entered Astorga," says General 
Marbot. ' ' So tired and anxious for shelter and warmth 
was everyone that the place was scarcely searched. If 
the enemy had had warning of this, and returned on their 
tracks, they might perhaps have carried off the Emperor ; 
fortunately they were in too great a hurry, and we did not 
find one of them in the town. Every minute fresh bodies 
of French troops were coming up and the safety of the 
Imperial headquarters was soon secured. ' ' 

Proceeding to Valladolid with his Guard, which he wished 
to keep as near to events in Germany as himself, after 
placing Joseph on the throne at Madrid again, he soon 
afterwards hastened to Paris with all speed, riding on post 
horses on one occasion not less than eighty-five miles 
in five and one-half hours. He had traversed Spain with 
the rapidity of lightning, followed by his Guard, to the 
spot where new dangers and triumphs awaited him. He 
left behind a feeble king, equally as incapable of keeping 
as obtaining a conquest ; and marshals who, no longer 


restrained by the presence of an inflexible chief, for the 
most part delivered themselves over to their own self-love 
or private jealousies. 

In his * ' Memorial ' ' written in exile at ' St. Helena, 
Napoleon said " that the war of Spain destroyed him, and 
that all the circumstances of his disasters connect them- 
selves with this fatal knot. " "In the crisis France was 
placed in," he said at another time, "in the struggle of 
new ideas in the great cause of the age against the rest of 
Europe, we could not leave Spain behind. ' ' 



Before Napoleon returned to Paris from Spain he learned 
that, yielding to England's instigations, Austria was 
about to take advantage of his being so far away, to cross 
its borders, invade Bavaria, carry the war to the banks of 
the Rhine, and then effect the liberation of Germany. 
The opportunity was an excellent one for attempting such 
an undertaking. The Emperor had been compelled to 
send the pick of his battalions to the other side of the 
Pyrenees, thus greatly reducing the number of French 
foes in Germany. The French minister of foreign affairs, 
Talleyrand, had during Napoleon's absence made every 
effort to conciliate the Emperor Francis, but the warlike 
preparations throughout the Austrian dominions pro- 
ceeded with increasing vigor. 


After the declaration of war by Austria on the 6th of 
April, couriers were at once dispatched with orders to 
the armies on the Rhine, and beyond the Alps, to concen- 
trate themselves on the field. To the ambassadors at 
Paris the Bmpercr spoke most freely of the coming con- 
quest. ' ' They have forgotten the lessons of experience 
there, ' ' he said ; ' ' They want fresh ones ; they shall have 
them, and this time they shall be terrible I promise you. 
I do not desire war ; I have no interest in it, and all 
Europe is witness that my whole attention and all my 
efforts were directed towards the field of battle which 
England had selected, that is to say, Spain. Austria, 
which saved the English in 1805 when I was about to 
cross the straits of Calais, has saved them once 
more by stopping me when I was about to pursue 
them to Corunna. She shall pay dearly for this new 
diversion in their favor. Either she shall disarm in- 
stantly, or she shall have to sustain a war of destruction. 
If she disarms in such a manner as to leave no doubt on 
my mind as to her further intentions, I will myself sheathe 
my sword, for I have no wish to draw it except in Spain 
against the English ; otherwise the conflict shall be imme- 
diate and decisive, and such that England shall for the 
future have no allies on the Continent. ' ' 

The instant Napoleon ascertained that Bavaria was 
invaded by the Archduke Charles, he at once proceeded, 
without guards, without equipage, accompanied solely by 
the faithful Josephine, to Frankfort and thence to Stras- 
bourg. Here he assumed command of the army on the 
13th of April, and immediately formed the plan of his 
campaign. He found the two wings of his army, the one 
under Massena, the other under Davoust, at such a dis- 


tance from the centre that, had the Austrians seized the 
opportunity, the consequences might have been fatal to 
the French. 

On the 17th of April, while at Donawerth, Napoleon 
commanded Davoust and Massena to march simultane- 
ously towards a position in front, and then pushed forward 
the centre in person, to the same point. The Archduke 
I^ouis, who commanded the Austrian divisions in 
advance, was thus hemmed in unexpectedly by three 
armies, moving at once from three different points. 

At Donawerth Napoleon addressed his troops in a procla- 
mation in which he said: " Soldiers, the territory of the 
Confederation has been violated. The Austrian general 
expects us to fly at the sight of his arms, and to abandon 
our allies to him. I arrive with the rapidity of lightning. 
Soldiers, I was surrounded by you when the sovereign 
of Austria came to my camp in Moravia ; you have heard 
him implore my clemency, and swear an eternal friendship 
towards me. Victors, in three wars Austria has owed 
everything to your generosity ; three times has she per- 
jured herself. Our past successes are a safe guarantee of 
the victory which awaits us. Let us march, and at our 
aspect may the enemy acknowledge his conqueror. ' ' 

It should be remembered that at this time, while 
Napoleon was astonishing Europe by the rapidity of his 
movements, and the display of the resources of his 
military and political genius, he had left an army in the 
Peninsula, distributed over an immense space of territory, 
weakened by diseases, reduced by partial combats, and 
without receiving reinforcements from the interior of the 
Empire. During the whole of the German campaign of 
1809, the French in Spain were merely able to maintain 


themselves in the positions they had occupied soon after 
Napoleon's departure. 

Austria had reckoned on the absence of Napoleon and 
his Guard, and on the veteran troops of Marengo and Aus- 
terlitz being far distant. She knew that there did not remain 
more than 80,000 French scattered throughout Germany, 
while her army divided into nine bodies, under the orders 
of the Archduke Charles, had not less than 500,000 men. 

The Archduke Louis was defeated and driven back at 
Abensberg on the 20th, and utterly routed at I^andshut 
on the 2 1 St, losing 9,000 men, thirty guns and all his 
stores. Those unfortunate Austrians who had been led 
from Vienna singing songs, under a persuasion that 
there was no longer a French army in Germany, and that 
they should only have to deal with Wurtemburgers and 
Bavarians, experienced the greatest terror when they 
came to conflict and found themselves defeated. The 
Prince of lyichtenstein and General Lusignan, were 
wounded, while the loss of the Austrians in colonels, and 
ofiicers,of lower rank was considerable. 

In the battle of Abensberg which occurred on the 20th, 
Napoleon was resolved to destroy the corps of the Arch- 
duke lyouis, and of General Keller, amounting to sixty 
thousand men. The enemy only stood his ground for an 
hour and left eighteen thousand prisoners. The cannonade 
of the French was successful at all points and the Aus- 
trians, disconcerted by Napoleon's brilliant movements, 
beat a hasty retreat leaving eight standards and twelve 
pieces of cannon. The French loss was very small. 

Before this engagement Napoleon saw defile before him 
on the plateau in front of Abensberg the Wurtemberg and 
Bavarian troops, allies of the French, who were going to 


put themselves in line and whom the pride of fighting 
under a general of his renown filled with enthusiasm. 
The Kmperor caused them to be drawn up and proceeded 
to harangue them, one after the other, the officers trans- 
lating his words to the troops. He said that he 
was making them fight, not for himself, but for 
themselves; against the ambition of the house of 
Austria, which was enraged at not having them, as 
of yore, under its yoke ; that this time he would 
soon restore them peace, and forever, and with such an 
increase of power that for the future they should be able 
to defend themselves against the pretensions of their old 
dominators. His presence and words electrified his 
German allies, who were flattered to see him amongst 
them, he trusting entirely to their honor, for at that 
moment he had no other escort than some detachments of 
Bavarian cavalry. 

When Napoleon arrived that evening at Rotterburg he 
was intoxicated with joy. The engagement, which was 
of short duration, had cost the Austrians 7,000 or 8,000 
men, and he saw his adversary driven back on the Iser 
at the very beginning of the campaign, and the Austrian 
soldiers disheartened, like the Prussians after Jena. 

The battle of I^andshut completed the defeat of the 
preceding evening. On this day General Mouton, at the 
head of a column of grenadiers rushed through the 
flames that were consuming one of the bridges of the Iser; 
"Forward, but reserve your fire!" he shouted to the 
soldiers in a voice of thunder ; and in a few moments he 
had penetrated into the town, which then became the seat 
of a sanguinary struggle, and which the Austrians were 
not long in abandoning. 


Next day Napoleon executed a variety of manoeuvres, 
considered as amongst the most admirable of his science, 
by means of which he brought his whole force, by dif- 
ferent routes, at one and the same moment upon the 
position of the Archduke Charles, who was strongly 
posted at Kckmuhl with 100,000 men. On both sides all 
was ready for a decisive action. Until 8 o'clock a thick 
fog enveloped that rural scene which was soon to be 
drenched with the blood of thousands of men. As soon 
as it cleared away both sides prepar'ed for action. Not a 
musket or a cannon shot was fired before noon, how- 

There was no need of a signal for battle as the terrible 
contest began on both sides simultaneously about 2 o'clock 
in the afternoon, Napoleon commanding and leading the 
charge, and accompanied by I^annes and Massena. One 
of the most beautiful sights war could produce now pre- 
sented itself; one hundred and ten thousand men were 
attacked on all points, turned to their left, and succes- 
sively driven from all their positions, although not a half 
of the French troops were engaged. The battle was 
stern and lasted until twilight, ending with the utter 
defeat of the Archduke's army, and leaving Napoleon 
"with 20,000 prisoners, fifteen imperial standards and a 
vast number of cannon in his hands, while the defeated 
and routed enemy fled back in confusion on the city of 
Ratisbon. The Austrian cavalry, strong and numerous, 
attempted to cover the retreat of the infantry, but was 
attacked by the French both on the right and left. The 
Archduke Charles was only indebted for his safety to the 
fleetness of his horse, when darkness at length compelled 
the victors to halt. 


"While the French were galloping along the road in 
pursuit ot the Austrians, finding the plain to which they 
had retreated swampy, they endeavored to regain the road, 
and thus became mingled with the mass of victorious 
cavalry. A multitude of single combats then took place 
by the uncertain light of the moon, and nothing was 
heard but the clashing of sabres on their cuirasses, the 
shouts of the commandants, and the heavy tramp of 
horses. The French cuirassiers, wearing double cuirasses, 
which covered them all round, could more easily defend 
themselves than the Austrians, who, having only breast- 
plates, fell in great numbers, mortally wounded by the 
thrusts dealt them from behind. Night put an end to a 
contest where there were scenes of carnage that had not 
been equalled in years. 

At the battle of Abensberg the Emperor beat separately 
the two corps of the Archduke lyouis and General Keller ; 
at the battle of lyandshut he took the centre of their com- 
munications and the general depot of their magazines and 
artillery; and, finally, at the battle of Bckmuhl, the corps 
of HohenzoUern, Rosenberg, and Lichtenstein, were 

The Austrians, astonished by rapid movements beyond 
their calculation, were soon deprived of their sanguine 
hopes, and precipitated from a delirium of presumption to 
a despondency bordering on despair. Two days later the 
Archduke made an attempt to rally his troops, and not 
only to hold Ratisbon, but to meet Napoleon. He was 
obliged to give up the place at the storming of the walls 
by the French, who drove the Austrians through the 
streets. All who resisted were slain. The enemy's com- 
mander fled precipitately into Bohemia, abandoning once 


more tlie capital of the Austrian Empire to the mercy of 
the Conqueror. 

Napoleon was wounded in the foot during the storming 
of Ratisbon. He had approached the town amidst a fire 
of sharpshooters kept up by the Austrians from the walls, 
and by the French from the edge of a ditch. Whilst he 
was looking through a telescope he received a ball in the 
instep, and said, with the coolness of an old soldier : " I 
am hit ! ' ' When the Emperor received his wound he was 
talking with Duroc. "This," said he to his marshal, 
' * can only come from a Tyrolian ; no other marksman 
could take an aim at such a distance ; those fellows are 
very clever. ' ' 

The wound might have been dangerous for had it 
been higher up the foot would have been shattered and 
amputation inevitable. The first surgeon of the Guard, 
Dr. I^arrey, being near took off his boot and prepared to 
dress the wound, which was not serious. 

At the news that the Emperor was wounded the troops 
crowded around him in great alarm. Officers and soldiers 
ran up from all sides ; in a moment he was surrounded 
by thousands of men, in spite of the fire which the enemy's 
guns concentrated on the vast group. The Emperor, 
wishing to withdraw his troops from this useless danger, 
and to calm the anxiety of the more distant corps who 
were getting unsteady in their desire to come and see what 
was the matter, mounted his horse the instant his wound 
was dressed and rode down the front of the whole line 
amid loud cheers. Those around remonstrated with him 
for continually exposing his person, to which he replied : 
" What can I do ? I must see how things are going on." 

' ' It was at this extempore review, ' ' says General Mar- 


bot, " held in presence of the enemy, that Napoleon first 
granted gratuities to private soldiers, appointing them 
Knights of the Empire and members, at the same time, of 
the Legion of Honor. The regimental commanders recom- 
mended, but the Emperor also allowed soldiers who thought 
they had claims, to come and represent them before him ; 
he then decided upon them himself." 

An old grenadier, who had made the campaigns of 
Italy and Egypt, not hearing his name called, came up, 
and in a calm tone of voice asked for the cross. 

"But," said Napoleon, "what have you done to 
deserve it?" 

"It was I, sir, who, in the desert of Joppa, when it 
was so terribly hot, gave you a watermelon!" 

"I thank you for it again," said the Emperor, "but 
the gift of the fruit is hardly worth the cross of the 
Legion of Honor." Then the grenadier, who up till 
then had been as cool as ice, working himself up into a 
frenzy, shouted at the top of his voice, " Well, and don't 
you reckon seven wounds received at the bridge of Areola, 
at Eodi, at Castiglione, at the Pyramids, at Acre, Aus- 
terlitz, Friedland ; eleven campaigns in Italy, Egypt, 
Austria, Prussia, Poland — ." 

But the Emperor cut him short laughing, and mimicking 
his excited manner, cried; — "There, there, how you 
work yourself up when 3^ou come to the essential point! 
That is where you ought to have begun ; it is worth much 
more than your melon. I make you a Knight of the 
Empire, with a pension of 1200 francs. Does that 
satisfy you?" 

"But your Majesty, I prefer the cross." 

' ' You have both one and the other since I make you a 


" Well, I would rather have the cross," and the worthy 
grenadier could not be moved from that point. It took 
much explaining to make him understand that the title 
of Knight of the Empire carried with it the Legion of 
Honor. He was not appeased on this point until the 
Kmperor had fastened the decoration on his breast, and 
he seemed to think a great deal more of this than of his 
annuity of 1200 francs. 

It was by familiarities of this kind that the Emperor 
made the soldiers adore him, but as Marbot again well says, 
it was a means that was only available to a commander 
whom frequent victories had made illustrious ; any other 
general would have impaired his reputation by it. 

Napoleon now sent an aide-de-camp to Lannes urging 
him to expedite the taking of Ratisbon. This intrepid 
marshal had directed all his artillery against a project- 
ing house which rose above the wall surrounding the 
town. The house was knocked down and the ruins 
fell into the ditch. Still there were two fortified positions 
to take. Ladders were procured and placed at the 
critical points by the grenadiers, but every time one of 
them appeared he was instantly brought down by the 
well-aimed balls of the Austrian sharpshooters. After 
some men had been thus struck, the rest appeared to hang 
back. Thereupon I^annes advanced, covered with deco- 
rations, seized one of the ladders and cried out: "You 
shall see that your marshal, for all he is a marshal, has 
not ceased to be a grenadier !" Two aides-de-camp 
sprang forward and snatched the ladder out of his hands, 
and the grenadiers followed them, took the ladders, and, 
notwithstanding the continued fire of the sharpshooters, 
made the crossing in safety, followed by hundreds of 
others in an instant. 



The walls being scaled, the town was soon in the hands 
of the French, who rushed along the blazing streets taking 
prisoners in all directions. Suddenly they were stopped 
with a cry of terror uttered by the Austrians ; ' ' Take care, 
we shall all be blown up ! " shouted an officer. There 
were some barrels of powder left in the street which were in 
danger of being fired by the shots exchanged on either 
side. The belligerents stopped with one accord and joined 
hands in removing the barrels to a place of safety. The 
Austrians then withdrew and left the town to the French 

After the taking of Ratisbon Napoleon issued an address 
to his soldiers complimenting them highly on their valor. 
" You have justified my expectations," he said. "You 
have made up for numbers by your courage ; you have 
gloriously marked the difference which exists between 
the soldiers of Caesar and the armies of Xerxes. In a few 
days we have triumphed in the three battles of Tann, 
Abensberg and Eckmuhl, and the affairs of Peising, 
I^andshut and Ratisbon. One hundred pieces of cannon, 
fifty thousand prisoners, three equipages, three thousand 
baggage wagons, all the funds of the regiments, are the 
results of the rapidity of your marches, and of your 
courage. . . . Before a month we shall be in 
Vienna ! ' ' 

Thus in five days, in spite of inferiority of numbers and 
of the unfavorable manner in which his lieutenants had 
distributed an inferior force; by the sole energy of his 
genius, did Napoleon triumph over the main force of his 
opponent. The Emperor reviewed his army on the 24th, 
distributing rewards of all sorts with a lavish hand. Upon 
Davoust he bestowed the title of Duke of Eckmuhl. 


On May 3rd a body of 30,000 Austrians remaining from 
the army of lyandshut, fell back upon Kbersberg, where 
Massena engaged in a stubborn battle, General Claparede 
being obliged to defend himself for three hours with but 
7,000 men against 30,000 Austrians. Reinforcements at 
last arrived and the enemy retired in disorder upon the 
Ens, where they burned the bridge so as to protect their 
flight in the direction of Vienna. The battle cost the 
Austrians 12,000 men, of whom 7,500 were prisoners. 
The field of carnage was hideous, and the town of Kbers- 
berg was so wrapped in flames that the wounded could 
not be withdrawn. To prevent the fire from reaching the 
bridge it had been necessary to cut off the approach at 
either end, so that communication was interrupted for 
several hours between the troops who had crossed the river 
and those coming to their aid. Napoleon had galloped up 
on hearing the cannonade, and though inured to all the 
horrors of war, is said to have been greatly shocked at the 
sight he beheld. 

Passing before the ruins of the castle of Dirnstein, on 
an eminence beyond the Molck, and in the direction of 
Vienna, whither he was going, Napoleon said to Marshal 
Lannes, who was at his side : " lyook ! Behold the prison 
of Richard Coeur de I^ion. I^ike us, he went to Syria 
and Palestine. Coeur de lyion, my brave L^annes, was not 
braver than thou. He was more fortunate than I at St. 
Jean d'Acre. The Duke of Austria sold him to an empe- 
ror of Germany who had him imprisoned there. That 
was in the barbarous ages. How different to our own 
civilization ! You have seen how I treat the Emperor of 
Austria, whom I could have taken prisoner. Ah ! well ! 
I shall treat him again in the same manner. It is not my 
wish, but that of the age ! " 


From Molck the headquarters of the Emperor were 
transferred to St. Pol ten and two days later, at 9 o'clock 
in the morning, Napoleon was at Vienna, which he desired 
to take forthwith, but to take without destroying if 

Meeting with resistance in entering the city, the inhab- 
itants having prepared for a vigorous defense, Napoleon 
began to play with his heavy batteries upon the city. 
The bombardment soon convinced them that it was hope- 
less to resist, and Vienna surrendered May 12th after 
suffering severely. In a few hours eighteen hundred 
shells had fallen in the city. The streets were narrow, 
the houses high, and the population crowded within the 
narrow fortifications, were terrified and infuriated at the 
sight of the damage caused by the shells which started 
fires in every direction. Who would have said to the 
Viennese, who were then hurling all manner of impreca- 
tions at Napolec>n, the author of all their woes, that ten 
months later they would be singing the praise of this 
detested Emperor, and would be voluntarily setting 
French flags in their windows as symbols of friendship ? 

All the royal family had fled except the young Arch- 
duchess Marie lyOuise, who was detained in the palace, 
suffering from small-pox. When Napoleon heard she 
was sequestered there he ordered that no battery should 
be directed to that part of the town in which lay she who 
was destined to be his bride within less than a year! At 
this time Napoleon himself would no doubt have laughed 
heartily had he been told that in that palace was a woman 
who was to succeed Josephine in his struggle for a 
dynasty, to be Empress of the French, and later, to bear 
him the long wished for son and heir. 


That Marie had no such thoughts or incling^ions can 
readily be guessed from the fact of the present campaign 
in which her father, the Emperor, was battling for his 
Empire. The Emperor Francis had left his capital on 
April 8th, 1809, leaving there his wife and children, but 
all of whom departed, except Marie, on May 5th, From 
Vienna Marie wrote frequently to her father. A rumor 
had reached the capital that the battle of Eckmuhl had 
been a brilliant victory for the Austrians, and the young 
Archduchess wrote to her father on April 25th: "We 
have heard with delight that Napoleon was present at the 
great battle which the French lost. May he lose his head 
as well! There are a great many prophecies about his 
speedy end, and people say that the Apocalypse applies to 
him. They maintain that he is going to die this year at 
Cologne, in an inn called the ' Red Crawfish. ' I do not 
attach much importance to these prophecies, but how glad 
should I be to see them come true!" 

On May 13th the capitulation of the Austrian capital 
was signed, and Napoleon's army again entered Vienna, 
the Emperor taking up his old quarters at the imperial 
palace of Schoenbrunn. He said to his soldiers: " The 
people of Vienna, according to the expression of the 
deputation, wearied, deserted, widowed, shall be the 
object of your regards. I take the inhabitants under my 
special protection. As for the turbulent and ill-disposed, 
I will make a severe example of them. I^et us be kind 
towards the poor peasants, towards these good people, 
who have so many claims upon our esteem. Eet us not 
be vain of all our successes ; but look upon them as a 
proof of that divine justice which punishes ingratitude 
and perjury." 



The Austrian army, in abandoning the capital of the 
Empire, had not renounced the war, although in thirty- 
three days Napoleon had, with one stroke of his sword, 
cut in two the mass of their armies, and with a second 
burst open the gates of Vienna. He was now firmly estab- 
lished in that capital, and master of the main resources 
of the monarchy ; but his work was far from being done, 
either in Austria or in Germany. A great difficulty 
remained to be overcome, — that of crossing a vast river 
in the face of the enemy, and to give battle with the river 
behind him. This difficulty Napoleon had been unable 
to prevent, and it resulted inevitably from the nature 
of things. On leaving Ratisbon he had been obliged 
to take the route which was shortest, thus keeping the 
two main divisions of the Austrian army separated from 
each other. He was consequently obliged to march 
along the right bank of the Danube, abandoning the left 
to the Austrians, but securing to himself exclusively the 
means of crossing from the one to the other. 

The Archduke Charles was soon tempted to quit the 
fastness of Bohemia, and try once more the fortune of a 
battle. Having re-established the order, and recruited 
the numbers of his army to 100,000 men, he was soon 
posted on the banks of the Danube. Opposite were the 
French, and the river being greatly swollen, and all the 
bridges destroyed, the two armies seemed separated by an 
impassable barrier. Napoleon determined to pass it and 



after an unsuccessful attempt at NussdorfF, met with better 
fortune at EbersdorfF, where the river is broad and inter- 
sected by a number of low and woody islands, the largest 
of which bears the name of Lobau. Here Massena had 
thrown several bridges over the arms of the Danube. 

On these islands Napoleon established the greater part 
of his army on May 19th, and on the following day made 
good his passage by means of a bridge of boats to the left 
bank of the Danube, where he took possession of the 
villages of Asperne and Essling, with so little show of 
opposition that it became evident that the Archduke wished 
the inevitable battle to take place with the river between 
his enemy and Vienna. 

On the 2 1 St, at daybreak, the Archduke appeared on a 
rising ground, separated from the French position by an 
extensive plain. His whole force was divided into five 
heavy columns and protected by not less than two hundred 
pieces of artillery. The battle began at 4 o'clock in the 
afternoon with a furious assault on the village of Asperne, 
which was taken and retaken several times, and remained 
at nightfall in the occupation partly of the French and 
partly of the assailants, who had established themselves 
in the church and churchyard. Kssling sustained three 
attacks also, but there the French remained in complete 
possession. At one time Lannes, who defended this point, 
was so hard pressed, that he must have given way had 
not Napoleon relieved him, and obtained him a breathing 
spell by a well-timed and terrific charge of cavalry under 
Bessieres, which fell upon their centre. 

Night finally interrupted the action, the Austrians exult- 
ing in their partial success ; and Napoleon surprised that 
he should not have been wholly victorious. On either 


side the carnage had been terrible, and the pathways of 
the villages were literally choked with the dead. 

Just as Napoleon was about to retire for a few hours' 
rest he was interrupted by a violent altercation between 
two of his chief lieutenants, Bessieres and lyannes, the 
former of whom complained of the language used by the 
latter, his inferior in rank, in giving a necessary order for 
a charge of cuirassiers and chasseurs, then under the 
orders of Marshal Bessieres himself. Massena, who was 
on the spot, was obliged to interfere between these gallant 
men, who after having braved for a whole day the cross- 
fire of 300 pieces of cannon, were ready to draw their 
swords for the sake of their offended pride. Napoleon 
allayed their quarrel, which was to be terminated next 
day by the enemy in the saddest way for themselves and 
for the army. 

Next morning the battle recommenced at 4 o'clock 
with equal fury, the French recovering Asperne ; but the 
Austrian right wing renewed its assaults on that point, 
and in such numbers that Napoleon guessed that their 
centre and left had been weakened for the purpose of 
strengthening their right. Believingthishe instantly moved 
such masses upon the Austrian centre that the Archduke's 
line was shaken, and for a moment it seemed as if 
the victory of the French was secure. In fact it was 
extremely doubtful if the Austrian centre could withstand 
the mass of 20,000 infantry and 6,000 horse which I/annes 
had thrown upon it. 

The Archduke Charles now hastened to the spot to 
prevent the catastrophe that threatened his centre, and in 
this critical moment discharged at once the duties of a 
general and a common soldier. He brought up reserves, 


replaced the gaps which had been made in his Une by the 
furious onslaught of the French, and while awaiting the 
execution of these orders, seized a standard and himself 
led the grenadiers to the charge, while his bravest officers 
were struck down by his side. Ivannes, who also headed 
his soldiers in person, seeing the Austrian infantry dis- 
ordered, let loose upon them Bessieres and his own cuiras- 
siers, who, charging Hohenzollern's corps, broke several 
squares and took prisoners, cannon and flags. 

Success now seemed certain, and I^annes sent a staff 
officer to acquaint Napoleon of his progress and asked 
him to cover his rear whilst he was advancing in the plain 
and leaving so large a space between him and Essling. 
The officer found Napoleon watching the grand spectacle 
of which he was the director. He did not express any- 
thing like the satisfaction he might have been expected 
to feel at such a communication. The fact was, an unfortu- 
nate accident had occurred. At this critical moment the 
biidge connecting the island of lyobau was being wholly 
swept away by means of fire-ships sent down the river 
by the Austrians. Napoleon at once perceived that if he 
wished to preserve his communication with the right of 
the Danube, where his reserve still lay, he must instantly 
fall back on I^obau. The want of troops, however, was 
not the first consequence of the rupture of the bridge, for 
the 60,000 already passed over were enough to beat the 
Austrians. What was most to be regretted was the want 
of ammunition, a prodigious quantity of which had already 
been consumed, and of which there would soon be a 

Napoleon therefore resolved upon a painful sacrifice in 
order not ta expose himself to risks -which prudence for- 


bade him to brave. Having formed this resolution, in an 
instant he ordered the staff officer to return to L<annes as 
fast as possible and tell him to suspend the movement and 
fall back gradually on the Bssling and Aspernejine. He 
was also to recommend the marshal to be sparing of 

On receiving this order Lannes and Bessieres were com- 
pelled, to their deep regret, to halt in the midst of the 
vast plain of Marchfield. No sooner did the French troops 
commence their backward movement than the Austrians 
recovered their order and zeal, charged in turn, and finally 
made themselves masters of Asperne. 

Essling, where Massena commanded, held firm, and 
under the protection of that village and numerous batteries 
erected near it, Napoleon succeeded in withdrawing his 
whole force during the night. The Commander had sent 
earlier in the day to inquire of Massena if he could rely 
on the possession of Asperne; for as long as it and Essling 
remained, the safe retreat of the army was insured. The 
staff officer who took the message found Massena on a 
heap of rubbish, harassed with fatigue, with blood-shot 
eyes, but with unabated energy of spirit. 

On receiving the message he stood up and replied with 
extraordinary emphasis : "Go tell the Emperor I will 
hold out two hours, — twenty -four — so long as it is neces- 
sary for the safety of the army ! ' ' 

It was during this exciting retreat that a dreadful 
calamity befell the army. Whilst Lannes was galloping 
in front of the line from one corps to another, encouraging 
the soldiers by his voice and example, an officer who 
was alarmed at seeing him exposed to so much danger, 
entreated him to dismount for greater safety. He followed 


the advice, though it was far from his habit to be careful 
of his life. At that instant he was struck by a cannon 
ball that shattered both his knees. Bessieres and an aide 
raised him up, and found him bathed in blood and almost 
senseless. Bessieres, with whom he had quarreled on the 
preceding day, pressed his weak hand. He was laid on a 
cuirassier's cloak and carried to a little bridge where an 
ambulance was stationed. The news soon spread through 
the army and filled it with sorrow. The surgeon declared 
his wounds to be mortal. 

In his frenzy the brave marshal called for Napoleon, 
his friend. The latter observed a group advancing, sup- 
porting I^annes on a bier formed of crossed fire-locks and 
some branches of oak. Twelve old grenadiers, covered 
with blood and dust, bore this illustrious warrior along. 
As soon as the Bmperor saw it was the Duke of Monte- 
bello he hastened to meet him. The grenadiers stopped, 
and Napoleon, throwing himself upon his old companion- 
in-arms, who had fainted from the loss of blood, in a 
voice scarcely articulate, said, several times, " Lannes, my 
friend, do you know me? It is the Emperor, it is 
Bonaparte, your friend." 

At these words Lannes opened his eyes, till then closed, 
collected his spirits, and made some attempts to speak ; 
but, being unable, he could only lift his dying arms to 
pass them round the neck of Napoleon. The fear of 
exhausting the little life still remaining in the marshal 
determined the Bmperor to leave him. 

Sometime later Napoleon visited his wounded friend 
and conversed with him briefly. " My noble marshal," 
said the Emperor, " It is all over. " " What ! ' ' cried the 
dying man, " can't _j/(?z^ save me? " He died in delirium 


some days later in the arms of his chief, who wept over him 
as he had done at the death of Desaix at Marengo. The 
French soldiery delighted to call him the ' ' Roland of the 
Camp," and Napoleon said, "It was impossible to be more 
brave than I^annes. ' ' No man could inspire his troops 
with more confidence than could this brave soldier who 
had been the companion of the fortunes and glory of Napo- 
leon from the very beginning of his public career. 

Napoleon had charged Lannes to maintain Essling at 
all hazards and he valiantly fulfilled his task. At length, 
at nine at night, the sanguinary conflict ceased ; the 
French preserving the position they had occupied in the 
morning, and the Austrians bivouacking where they 
were. Both sides sustained an equal loss, from fifteen to 
twenty thousand men having been killed, or wounded, on 
both sides. Among the Austrians were four field-mar- 
shals, eight generals and six hundred and sixty-three 
officers killed or wounded. 

On the morning of the 23rd of May the French were 
cooped up in I^obau and the adjacent islands, — Asperne and 
Kssling — the whole left bank of the river, remaining in the 
possession of the Austrians. On either side a victory 
was claimed. In the eyes of Europe it was a check for 
Napoleon, accustomed to crush his enemy, to have been 
unable at this time to drive the Austrians from their 

The situation of the French Kmperor was imminently 
hazardous ; he was separated from Davoust and his 
reserves, and, had the enemy either attacked him in the 
islands, or passed the river higher up and so overwhelmed 
Davoust and relieved Vienna, the results might have 
been fatal. But the Archduke's loss in these two days 


had been very great ; and, in place of risking an offensive 
movement, lie contented himself with strengthening the 
position of Asperne and Kssling, and awaiting quietly the 
moment when his enemy should choose to attempt once 
more the passage to the left bank, and the reoccupation of 
these stubbornly contested villages. 

Napoleon availed himself of this pause with his usual 
skill. That he had been checked was true, and that the 
news would be heard with enthusiasm, he well knew. It 
was necessary, therefore, to regain the fame which had 
surrounded the beginning of the campaign, and he made 
every preparation for another decisive battle. Some weeks 
elapsed ere he ventured to assume the offensive. 

On the 4th of July, 1809, Napoleon at last re-established 
his communication with the right bank, and arranged the 
means of passing to the left at a point where the Arch- 
duke had made hardly any preparation for receiving him. 
On the 5th of July, at 10 o'clock at night, the French 
began to cross from the islands in the Danube to the left 
bank. Gunboats prepared for the purpose silenced some 
of the Austrian batteries ; others were avoided by passing 
the river out of reach of their fire on bridges that 
had been secretly erected by the French. When Napo- 
leon had a river to be crossed he began the operation by 
suddenly conveying some determined men to the opposite 
Bide in boats. These proceeded to disarm or kill the 
enemy's advanced posts, and to fix the moorings to which 
the boats were to be attached that were to carry the bridge. 
The army then passed over as quickly as possible. 

The first of these operations was the most difficult in 
presence of an enemy so numerous and so well prepared 
as were the Austrians. To facilitate it, Napoleon had 


large flat boats constructed, capable of carrying 300 men 
each, and having a moving gunwale to protect the men 
from musketry, which on being let down, would serve in- 
stead of planks for landing. Every corps was provided with 
five of these flat-boats, which made an advance guard 
of 1500 men carried over at once, and the enemy, not 
knowing exactly where the crossing would be made, 
could not confront the French with advanced posts in 
sufficient numbers to prevent their landing. 

The Austrians having rashly calculated that Aspeme 
and Essling must needs be the object of the next contest, 
as of the preceding, they were taken almost unawares 
by Napoleon's appearance in another quarter. They 
changed their line on the instant and occupied a 
position, the centre and key of which was the little town 
of Wagram. Here, on the 6th of Jul 5^, the final and 
decisive battle was to be fought. Adding together the 
troops of Massena, Oudinot, Davoust, Bernadotte, Prince 
Eugene, Macdonald, Marmont, deWredeand the Guard, 
there appeared to be 150,000 men ; of whom 26,000 were 
cavalry and 12,000 artillerymen serving 550 guns; an 
enormous force, such as Napoleon had never yet mus- 
tered on a field of battle, and according to some author- 
ities, such a host as had never been brought into action 
by any leader. Besides this vast force Napoleon had 
with him the invincible Massena, who was then suffering 
from a fall from his horse, but who was capable of mas- 
tering all physical sufferings on a day of battle ; the 
Stubborn Davoust, the impetuous Oudinot, the intrepid Mac- 
donald, and. a multitude of others who were ready to pur- 
chase the triumph of the French arms with their blood. 
The heroic I^annes was the only one missing. Fate had 


forbidden him to witness a victory to which he had power- 
fully contributed by his conduct in this campaign. 

When the day dawned on the banks of the river, about 
4 o'clock in the morning, a most imposing spectacle pre- 
sented itself to both armies. The sufi glistened on thous- 
ands of bayonets and helmets, and seventy thousand men 
were already in line of battle on the enemy's side of the 
river capable of making a good fight with the Archduke's 
forces. Seeing Napoleon ride along the front of the lines 
his soldiers raised their shakos on their bayonets and cried : 
' ' Vive r Empereur ! ' ' The ground covered by the two 
armies was about two leagues in extent. The troops 
nearest were about 1 200 fathoms from the city of Vienna, 
so that the towers, steeples, and tops of the highest 
houses, were covered by the numerous population, thus 
become spectators of the terrible contest then preparing. 

The Archduke had extended his line over too wide a 
space, and his former error enabled Napoleon to at once see 
an opportunity to ruin hiui by his old device of pouring 
the full shock of his strength on the centre. In fact, so 
apparently weak was the position of the Austrians at this 
time that the Kmperor,in his bulletin of the engagement 
sent to Paris, had this to say : "This disposition of the 
army appealed so absurd that some snare was dreaded, 
and the Emperor hesitated some time before ordering the 
easy dispositions which he had to make in order to annul 
those of the enemy, and render them fatal to him. ' ' At 
sunrise the cannonade commenced upon the two lines. 
Napoleon, perceiving that the Prince of Rosemberg was 
moving upon Marshal Davoust, repaired in person to 
the right wing, which he reinforced with the cuirassiers 
under General Arrighe, and caused twelve pieces of light 


artillery to advance upon the flank of the enemy's col- 
umns. After an obstinate engagement of two hours' dura- 
tion, Davoust succeeded in repulsing his adversary as far 
as Neusiedel. 

While the French army thus signalized itself by 
success in the beginning of the day, the battle was carried 
along the rest of the line with great determination. The 
fire of musketry and cannon was now general on that vast 
front of nearly three leagues, along which 300,000 men and 
1 100 pieces of cannon were arrayed against each other. 
It was a principle of Napoleon's that by concentrating 
on one point the action of certain special arms that grand 
effects were to be produced, and therefore it was that he 
bestowed an immense amount of artillery on the Guard 
and had kept under his hand a reserve of fourteen regi- 
ments of cuirassiers. 

The Emperor now ordered that the whole of the artillery 
of the Guard, together with all that could be spared by the 
several corps, advance at a gallop. Just then General 
de Wrede arrived on the groimd with cwenty-five pieces of 
excellent artillery, and solicited the honor of taking part 
in the decisive movement, to which Napoleon consented. 
He then sent for General Macdonald, his design being to 
shake the Austrian centre with 100 guns, and then pierce 
it with Macdonald' s bayonets and Nansouty's sabres. 
These orders were obeyed on the instant. 

While awaiting the carrying out of these movements, 
impatient for the arrival of Macdonald and Lauriston, 
Napoleon rode about the field on his Persian horse of dazz- 
ling whiteness, giving orders to his aides constantly. The 
cannonading had by this time acquired the frequency of 
musket-firing, and everybody shuddered at the thought 


of seeing the man, on whose life so many destinies 
depended, struck by one of those blind messengers of 
death. The hundred guns were now ranged in line and 
instantly began the most tremendous slaughter ever 
known to those who witnessed it. Napoleon observed 
with his glass the effect of that formidable battery, saw 
the enemy's artillery dismounted, and was satified with 
the correctness of his own conceptions. But artillery was 
not sufl&cient to break the Austrian centre ; bayonets, too, 
were requisite. 

The intrepid Macdonald now advanced at the head of 
his corps under a deluge of fire, leaving the ground 
covered at every step with his dead and wounded, still 
closing the ranks without wavering, and communicating 
his own gallant bearing to his soldiers. "What a brave 
man ! ' ' Napoleon exclaimed several times, as he saw him 
thus march under the shower of grape and bullets. The 
Archduke's centre, shaken by the fire of a hundred pieces of 
ordinance, retreats, as does also his right. Davoust now 
shakes the Austrian left wing, and as he does so Napoleon 
exclaims: ' 'The battle is won !' ' , —and so it was. lyauriston, 
with a hundred pieces of cannon, and Macdonald at the 
head of a chosen division, charged the Austrians in the 
centre and broke through it. The victory was for the 
French once more. 

At length the Austrian army fell into disorder, their 
centre was driven back two or three miles out of the line ; 
cries of alarm were heard, the right wing gave way and 
the left soon followed. The rout was now complete. 
At the close of the battle there remained 20,000 pris- 
oners, besides all the artillery and baggage in the hands 

of the French. Napoleon showed all his courage 


and talents on this day, and was ever in the 
hottest of the action, though the appearance of his 
retinue drew on him showers of grape by which he 
was repeatedly endangered. From early morning, he 
was occupied in galloping through the different lines, 
encouraging the troops by his presence and persuasive 
eloquence ; many being killed by the balls that 
flew about him. It was observed that the enemy's 
fire was particularly directed against the Emperor ; in 
consequence of which Napoleon was obliged to change 
his surtout three times. The aides-de-camp and officers 
of the staff were also given to understand that they should 
keep more at a distance, and the regiments were instructed 
not to salute the Emperor with acclamations at the 
moment he was passing. 

On the following morning, after surveying the field of 
battle, Napoleon went to place himself in the midst of his 
troops who were about to pursue the retreating enemy. 
He walked round the bivouacs without either hat or 
sword, his hands being crossed behind him, and as he 
talked with the soldiers of his Guard his manner and coun- 
tenance expressed the utmost satisfaction and confidence. 
On passing Macdonald, with whom he had lost favor, and 
who had not followed the fortunes of the Emperor for 
some years. Napoleon stopped and held out his hand, 
saying : " Shake hands, Macdonald ; no more animosity 
between us, we must henceforth be friends ; and, as a 
pledge of my sincerity, I will send you your marshal's 
staff, which you so gloriously earned in yesterday's 
battle." The general, pressing the Emperor's hand 
affectionately, exclaimed: "Ah, sire; with us it is 
henceforth for life and for death." The act was height- 


ened by the grace and good will with which it was per- 
formed. The same rank was granted a few days after to 
General Oudinot and the Duke of Ragusa (Marmont), 
for their eminent services. 

After the battle Napoleon recognized among the dead 
a colonel who had displeased him. He stopped and 
looked at the mangled body for a moment and then said, 
' ' I regret not having told him before the battle that I had 
forgotten everything. ' ' 

The Archduke fled in great confusion as far as Znaim 
in Moravia, abandoning, as trophies of his defeat, ten 
standards, forty pieces of cannon, nearly 18,000 prisoners, 
nine thousand wounded, and a great quantity of equipage. 

The loss of the French, while much less than that of 
the enemy, was 6,000 wounded and 2,600 killed. Marshal 
Bessieres was among the former. The French army had 
to lament the loss of the valiant LaSalle, one of the first 
generals of light cavalry. His death was greatly regretted 
both by the Emperor and the army. He was considered 
the best light cavalry officer for outpost duty and had the 
surest eye. He could take in a whole district in a moment, 
and seldom made a mistake, so that his reports on the 
enemy's position were clear and precise. He was a hand- 
some man of bright wit, an excellent horseman and 
brave to the point of rashness. He first attracted the 
notice of General Bonaparte at the battle of Rivoli when 
he galloped down a descent to which the fleeing Austrians 
had resorted to escape, and took some thousand prisoners 
under the eyes of General Bonaparte and the army. From 
that time LaSalle was in high favor with Napoleon who 
promoted him rapidly and took him to Egypt where he 
made him colonel. He distinguished himself at Austerlitz 
and in Prussia. 


The Imperial Council perceived that further resistanc was 
useless and an armistice was agreed to at TAidiva. Napo- 
leon, on returning to Vienna, continued occupied until 
October. For the third time he found himself master of 
the destinies of the House of Lorraine, which he had 
accused of ingratitude and perjury before Europe and in 
the face of history ; for the third time this conqueror, so 
violent in his menaces, so overwhelming in his reproaches, 
eagerly received the proposals of those who had provoked 
the war, whose hopes had been overthrown, and whose 
resources were destroyed on the day of Wagram. The 
results of the battle, without being as extraordinary as 
those of Austerlitz, Jena or Friedland, were great never- 

The announcement of the armistice with Austria put 
an end, in effect, to all hostile demonstrations on the Con- 
tinent, except in the Peninsula, and Germany in apparent 
tranquility awaited the result of the negotiations of 

A few days after Napoleon had returned to Schoenbrunn 
from Moravia he narrowly escaped the dagger of a young 
man who rushed upon him at a grand review of the 
Imperial Guard, and while in the midst of all his staff. 
Berthier and Rapp threw themselves upon the would-be 
assassin and disarmed him at the moment when his knife 
was about to enter the Emperor's body. 

Napoleon demanded to know what motive had 
actuated the assassin. "What injury," said he, " have I 
done to you?" 

' ' To me personally, none, ' ' answered the youth, * * but 
you are the oppressor of my country ; the tyrant of the 
world ; and to have put you to death would have been 
the highest glory of a man of honor. ' ' 


The youth, a son of a clergyman of Erfurt named 
Staaps, was condemned to death. It is said Napoleon 
wished to pardon Staaps, whose frankness and courage 
had struck him, and in whom, besides, he saw but a 
blind instrument of the passions incited by the monarchy ; 
but his orders arrived too late. The young German met 
his death with the greatest coolness, exclaiming : " Hail, 
lyiberty! Germany forever! Death to the tyrant!" 

The length to which the negotiations with Austria were 
protracted excited much wonder, but Napoleon, who was 
occupied incessantly with his ministers and generals, and 
seldom showed himself in public, had other business on 
hand besides his treaty with the Emperor Francis. His 
long-standing quarrel with the Pope now reached its 
crisis, growing out of the Concordat, involving affairs in 
Spain and Portugal, and finally by a refusal of the pontiff 
to acquiesce in the Berlin and Milan decrees against 
England's commerce. On the 17th of May Napoleon had 
issued from Vienna his final decree declaring the temporal 
sovereignty of the Pope to be wholly at an end, incorpo- 
rating Rome with the French Empire, and declaring it to 
be his second city, settling a handsome pension on the 
holy father in his spiritual capacity, and appointing a 
committee of administration for the civil government of 
Rome. The Pope replied with a bull of excommunication 
against Napoleon which finally resulted in the removal of 
His Holiness to Fontainebleau where he continued a 
prisoner, though treated personally with respect and mag- 
nificence, during more than three years. 

The treaty with Austria was at last signed at Schoen- 
brunn on the 14th of October, Austria giving up territory 
to the amount of 45,000 square miles, with a population 


of four millions, and depriving her of lier last seaport. 
Yet, wiien compared with the signal triumphs of the 
campaign at Wagram, the terms on which the conqueror 
signed the peace were universally looked upon as remark- 
able for moderation. Napoleon afterwards expressed him- 
self as highly culpable in having left Austria too powerful 
after the affair at Wagram, using the following words on 
that occasion : * ' The day after the battle I ought to have 
published in the order of the day that I would ratify no 
treaty with Austria, until after a previous separation of 
the crown of Austria, Hungary, and Bohemia; to be placed 
on three difierent heads." 

Napoleon quitted Vienna on the i6th of October, and 
was congratulated by the public bodies of Paris at Fon- 
tainebleau on the 14th of November as "the greatest of 
heroes, who never achieved victories but for the happiness 
of the world. ' ' "When he reappeared at the palace at Fon- 
tainebleau on Oct. 26th 1809, crowned with the victory of 
Wagram, there was one to whom dark forebodings came — 
Josephine felt that her fate was sealed. In fact, as a 
modern writer has said, the immediate result of Wagram 
was the divorce from the Empress. 

The first public intimation of a measure which had for 
a considerable period occupied Napoleon's thoughts came 
from the Emperor himself when he said, in an imperial 
speech in which he described the events of the past year, 
and the state of France : "I and my house will ever be 
found ready to sacrifice everything, even our own dearest 
ties and feelings, to the welfare of the French people. ' ' 



hong before Napoleon assumed the imperial title his 
hopes of offspring from the union with Josephine were at 
an end, but the Empress lived for a time in hope that the 
Emperor would be content to adopt her son Eugene, 
lyouis Bonaparte married Hortense Beauharnais, daughter 
of Josephine, and an infant son became so much the/ 
favorite of Napoleon that the Empress, as well as others/ 
come to regard this boy as the heir of France. But the. 
child died early and the Emperor then began to direct ^' 
his thoughts towards the best means of dissolving his 
marriage with Josephine, in order that he might form an 
alliance with some daughter of Russia, or other imperial 
family. The Emperor Alexander was approached on this 
subject, and informed that one of his sisters, the Grand 
Duchess Anne, would be acceptable, but the Empress- 
mother hesitated, and this being taken by Napoleon as a 
refusal, he sought the hand of the Arch-duchess Marie 
lyouise, daughter of the Emperor Francis of Austria. 

On the 15 th of December, 1809, the Emperor summoned 
his council and announced to them, that at the expense of 
all his personal feelings, he, devoted wholly to the welfare 
of the State, had resolved to separate himself from his 
most dear consort. ' * Arrived at the age of forty years ' ' 
he said, " I may conceive the hope of living sufficiently 
long to elevate, in my mind and after my ideas, the 
children with which it shall please Providence to bless 



me. God knows how tnucli this resolution has cost my 
heart j * H^ * i should also add, that, far from ever 
having to complain, I have on the contrary, only had 
cause to laud the attachment and tenderness of my beloved 
wife. She has adorned fifteen years of my life. The 
recollection thereof will always remain graven on my 

Josephine then appeared among them, and not without 
tears, expressed her acquiescence in the decree. "I 
believe I acknowledge all these sentiments," she said, 
' ' by consenting to the dissolution of a marriage which, at 
present, is an obstacle to the welfare of France, which 
deprives it of being one day governed by the descendants 
of a great man, so evidently raised by Providence to efface 
the ills of a terrible revolution, and re-establish the altar, 
the throne, and social order. ' ' 

The council, after addressing the Emperor and Empress 
on the nobleness of their mutual sacrifice, accepted and 
ratified the dissolution of marriage. The title of Empress 
was preserved to Josephine for life and a pension of two 
million francs, to which Napoleon afterwards added a third 
million from his privy purse. She then retired from the 
Tuileries, residing thenceforth mostly at Malmaison, and in 
the course of a few weeks Austria was called upon for her 

Having given her hand at Vienna on the i ith of March, 
i8io,to Berthier,who had the honor to represent the person 
of the Emperor, the young Archduchess set out for France 
on the 13th. 

On the 28th, as her carriage was proceeding towards 
Soissons, Napoleon rode up to it, in a plain dress, 
altogether unattended, and introduced himself to his proxy 


bride. She had never seen his person till then, and it is 
said her first exclamation was, " Your Majesty's pictures 
have not done you justice." 

They spent the evening at the chateau of Compiegne 
and a religious marriage was celebrated on the ist of 
April at St. Cloud amidst every circiimstance of splendor ; 
the next day they made their entry into the capital. 
Napoleon in his exile said that ' ' the Spanish ulcer ' ' and 
the Austrian match were the two main causes of his ruin ; 
— and they both contributed to it largely, although by no 
•means equally. The Exile's own opinion was that the 
error lay, not in seeking a bride of imperial birth, but in 
choosing her at Vienna. Had he persisted in his demands, 
the Czar, he doubted not, would have granted him his 
sister; the proud dreams of Tilsit would have been realized, 
and Paris and St. Petersburg become the only two capitals 
of Europe. Possibly, then, he would not have had occasion 
to say that he ' ' set his foot upon an abyss of roses ' ' when 
he married Marie. 

Had he married a daughter of France, or even an 
imperial princess of Russia, he could have done so with- 
out the sacrifice of the prestige of the nobility, and even 
the divinity of the people he had so gloriously contended 
for ; but when it was announced that he had contracted 
an alliance with the House of Hapsburg, — that hated race 
against whom and whose principles he had fought 
a hundred battles, they were convinced that no good would 
come of it — and they were right. 

The war, meanwhile, continued without interruption in 
the Peninsula ; whither, but for his marriage Napoleon 
would certainly have repaired in person, after the peace of 
Schoenbrunn left him at ease. So illy was that Spanish 


campaign conducted during Napoleon's absence that not 
an inch of soil could be counted by the French beyond 
their outposts. Their troops were continually harassed 
and thinned by the indomitable guerrillas who acted singly 
or in bands as occasion offered. 

The Emperor's marriage was speedily followed on 
the 2oth of April, 1811, by the birth of a son and heir 
whom Napoleon announced to the waiting courtiers in 
these words : " It is a King of Rome ! ' ' The happy 
event, announced to the populace by the firing of one 
hundred and one guns, was received with many demonstra- 
tions of loyal enthusiasm. Bven Josephine joined in 
expressing her satisfaction at the event which seemed to 
portend so much for the founding of a Napoleonic dynasty 
which the Emperor now saw possible by direct lineage. 

When the Emperor of Russia was informed of Napo- 
leon's approaching nuptials with the Austrian princess 
his first exclamation was, " Then the next thing will be 
to drive us back into our forests' ' . In truth the conferences 
at Erfurt had but skinned over a wound which nothing 
could have cured but a total alteration of Napoleon's 
policy. The Russian nation suffered so much from the 
continental system that the Czar soon found himself 
compelled to relax the decrees drawn up at Tilsit in the 
spirit of those previously declared at Berlin and Milan. 
Certain harbors were opened partially for the admission 
of colonial produce and the export of native productions ; 
and there ensued a series of indignant reclamations on the 
part of Napoleon, and haughty evasions on that of the 
Czar, which, ere long, satisfied all near observers that 
Russia would not be slow to avail herself of any favorable 
opportunity of once more appealing to arms. 


During the summer of 181 1 the relations of Russia and 
France were becoming every day more dubious and when 
towards the close of it the Emperor of Austria published 
a rescript granting a free passage through his territories 
to the troops of his son-in-law, England, ever watchful 
of her great enemy, perceived clearly that France was 
about to have an ally. Alexander had long since ceased 
to regard the friendship of the great man as a blessing of 
heaven. Of the solemn cordiality of Tilsit, and the more 
recent meeting at Erfurt, there remained in the soul of 
the Czar naught but the displeasure and resentment 
arising from extinct affection and deceived hopes. 

From the moment in which the Russian government 
began to reclaim seriously against certain parts of his 
conduct, Napoleon increased by degrees his military force 
in the north of Germany, and the Grand Duchy of 
Warsaw, and advanced considerable bodies of troops 
nearer and nearer to the Czar's Polish frontier. These 
preparations were met by similar movements on the 
other side ; yet, during many months, the hope of termi- 
nating the differences by negotiations was not abandoned. 
The regulations of the Continental System were especially 
objected to by Russia, and the Czar having lent his ear to 
the representations of the English cabinet, asked that 
they be dispensed with as he declared he could no longer 
submit to see the commerce of an independent Empire 
trammeled for the purpose of serving the policy of a 
foreign power. 

Napoleon admitted that it might be necessary to modify 
the system complained of, and expressed his belief that it 
would be found possible to devise some middle course by 
which the commercial interests of France and Russia might 


be reconciled. A very considerable relaxation in the 
enforcement of the Berlin code was at last efifected, and a 
license system arranged which admitted Alexander 
to a share in the pecuniary advantages. Had there been 
no cause of quarrel between these powers except what 
appeared on the face of their negotiations, it is hardly to 
be doubted but a new treaty might have been effected. 
The Czar, however, from the hour of Marie lyouise's 
marriage, felt a conviction that the diminution of the Rus- 
sian power in the north of Europe would form the next 
great object of Napoleon's ambition. The Czar therefore 
assured himself that if war must come, there could be no 
question as to the policy of bringing it on before Austria 
had entirely recovered from the effects of the campaign of 
Wagram, and, above all, while the Peninsula continued 
to occupy 200,000 of Napoleon's troops. 

As concerned the Spanish armies, it might still be said 
that King Joseph was in military possession of all but 
some fragments of his kingdom. The English had been 
victorious in Portugal and the French troops in Spain 
lost more lives in this incessant struggle, wherein no glory 
could be achieved, than in any similar period spent in any 
regular campaign ; and Joseph, while the question of 
peace or war with Russia was yet undecided, became so 
weary of his situation, that he earnestly entreated Napo- 
leon to place the crown of Spain on some other head. 
Such were the circumstances under which the eventful 
year of 18 12 began. 

Most persuasive appeals were made to Napoleon by his 
ministers to refrain from entering into a campaign of 
aggression against Russia. To Fouche, minister of police, 
Napoleon is reported to have said, in reply, " Is it my 


fault that the height of power which I have attained com- 
pels me to ascend to the dictatorship of the world ? My 
destiny is not yet accomplished, — the picture exists as yet 
only in outline. There must be one code, one court of 
appeal, and one coinage for all Europe. The states of 
Europe must be melted into one nation, and Paris be its 

In the arguments used by Napoleon's advisers at this 
time they attempted to show him, among other things, the 
great extent of Alexander's resources, — his 400,000 
regulars, and 50,000 Cossacks, already known to be in 
arms — and the enormous population on which he had the 
means of drawing for recruits ; the enthusiastic national 
feeling of the Muscovites ; the distance of their country ; 
the severity of their climate ; the opportunity which a war 
would afford to England of urging her successes in Spain ; 
and the chance of Germany rising in insurrection in case 
of any reverses. 

With the greater part of the population of France, and 
especially with the army, the threatened war was exceed- 
ingly popular. Russia, the most extensive Empire in 
Europe, it was fondly imagined, was on the point of 
falling before the power of the Great Nation ; and Eng- 
land would then be left to struggle, unaided, for mastery 
with France. It was deemed a certain pledge of victory, 
since the Emperor himself was to lead his veteran legions 
to the new scene of triumph. 

Cardinal Fesch, uncle of the Emperor, appealed to him 
on other grounds. The Cardinal had been greatly affected 
by the treatment of the Pope, and he contemplated this 
new war with dread, — as likely to bring down the ven- 
geance of heaven upon the head of one who had dared 


to trample on its vice-regent. Napoleon led the Car- 
dinal to the window, opened it, and pointing upwards, 
said, " Do you see yonder star ? " 

"No Sire," replied the Cardinal. "But I see it", 
answered Napoleon ; and the churchman was dismissed. 

Trusting to this star, — his ' ' Star of Destiny ' ' in which 
he yet firmly believed, — he was far from being awed when 
in April, i8 12, Russia declared war against France. It 
was an indefensible violation of the treaty of Tilsit, but it 
showed Napoleon that Europe was determined to crush 
him, and he rallied the forces of his Empire for a more 
terrible conflict than he had yet been summoned to. 

Not satisfied with disposing everything for war in the 
bosom of the Empire, Napoleon, who wished to march 
into Russia at the head of his vast army of Europe, busied 
himself in forming and cementing, externally, powerful 
allies. Two treaties were concluded to this effect ; the 
one with Prussia and the other with Austria on the 24th 
of February and 14th of March, 18 12. 

Alexander's minister was ordered in the beginning of 
April to demand the withdrawal of the northern troops, 
together with the evacuation of the fortress in Pomerania, 
in case the French government still entertained a wish to 
negotiate. Napleon replied that he was not accustomed 
to regulate the distribution of his forces by the suggestions 
of a foreign power. The ambassador then demanded his 
passports and quitted Paris. 

The Emperor of France was confident, and seems to 
have entertained no doubt of his success in the coming 
campaign. "The war" he said, " is a wise measure, 
called for by the true interests of France and the general 
welfare. The great power I have already attained 


compels me to assume an universal dictatorship. My views 
are not ambitions. I desire to obtain no further acquisi- 
tion ; and reserve to myself only the glory of doing good, 
and the blessings of posterity. ' ' 

I^eaving Paris with the Empress on the 9th of May, 
18 1 2, on his way to join the Grand Army then forming 
on the Polish frontier, the imperial pair were accom- 
panied by a continual triumph. Not merely in France 
but throughout Germany the ringing of bells, music and 
the most enthusiastic greetings awaited them wherever 
they appeared. On May i6th, the Emperor arrived at 
Dresden where the Emperor of Austria, the Kings of 
Prussia, Naples, Wirtemberg, and Westphalia and almost 
every German sovereign of inferior rank had been invited 
to meet him. He had sent to request the Czar also to 
appear in this brilliant assemblage, as a last chance of an 
amicable arrangement, but the messenger could not obtain 
admission to Alexander's presence. 

Marie Louise was now sent back to France and the 
Russian campaign began. Marshal Ney, with one great 
division of the army, had already passed the Vistula ; 
Junot, with another, occupied both sides of the Oder. 
The Czar was known to be at Wilna, collecting the forces 
of his immense Empire and entrusting the general arrange- 
ments of the approaching campaign to Marshal Barclay 
de Tolly, an officer who had been born and educated in 
Germany. The season was advancing and it was time 
that the question of peace or war should be forced to a 

Napoleon, before leaving the gay court of Dresden, 
where he was hailed as " the king of kings," dispatched 
Count de Narbonne to the Emperor Alexander to make 


a fresh attempt at negotiation in order to spare the shed- 
ding of more blood. On his return Narbonne stated that 
" he had found the Russians neither depressed nor boast- 
ing ; that the resuU of all the replies of the Czar was, 
that they preferred war to a disgraceful peace ; that they 
would take special care not to risk a battle with an adver- 
sary so formidable ; and, finally, that they were deter- 
mined to make every sacrifice to protract the war, and 
drive back the invader. ' ' 

Napoleon arrived at Dantzic on the 7th of June, and 
during the fortnight which ensued, it was known that the 
final communications between him and Alexander were 
taking place. On the 22nd the French Emperor broke 
silence in a bulletin in which he said: "Soldiers, Russia 
is dragged on by her fate ; her destiny must be accom- 
plished. lyCt us march ; let us cross the Niemen, let us 
carry war into her territories. Our second campaign of 
Poland will be as glorious as the first ; but our second 
peace shall carry with it its own guarantee. It shall put 
an end forever to that haughty influence which Russia has 
exercised for fifty years over the affairs of Europe. 

The Czar announced the termination of the negotiations 
by stating the innumerable efforts to obtain peace and con- 
cluded in these words : ' ' Soldiers, you fight for your 
religion, your liberty and your native land. Your Em- 
peror is amongst you ; and God is the enemy of the 
aggressor. ' ' 

Napoleon reviewed the greater part of his troops on the 
battlefield of Friedland, and having assured them of still 
more splendid victories over the same enemy, issued his 
final orders to the chief ofiicers of his army. The disposi- 
tion of his forces when the campaign commenced was 


as follows : — The left wing, commanded by Macdonald, 
and amounting to 30,000 men, had orders to march through 
Courland, with the view, if possible, of outflanking the 
Russian right, and gaining the possession of sea coast 
in the direction of Riga. The right wing, composed 
almost wholly of Austrians, 30,000 in number, and com- 
manded by Schwartzenberg, was stationed on the Vol- 
hynian frontier. Between these moved the various corps 
forming the grand central army under the general super- 
intendence of Napoleon himself, viz. , those of Davoust, 
Ney, Jerome Bonaparte, Eugene Beauharnais, Prince 
Poniatowski, Junot and Victor ; and in numbers amounting 
to 250,000 men. The communication of the centre and 
the left was maintained by the corps of Oudinot, and those 
of the centre and the extreme right by the corps of 
Regnier, who had with him the Saxon auxiliaries and the 
Polish legion of Dombrowski. The chief command of the 
whole cavalry of the host was assigned to Murat who 
was in person at the headquarters of the Kmperor, having 
immediately under his order three divisions of horse — those 
of Grouchy, Montbrun and Nantousy. Augereau, with 
his division was to remain in the north of Germany to 
watch over Berlin and protect the communications with 
France. Napoleon's base of operations, as will be seen by 
the map, extended over full one hundred leagues, and the 
heads of his various columns were so distributed that the 
Russians could not guess whether St. Petersburg or Moscow 
formed the main object of his march. 

The Russian army, under de Tolly, had its headquarters 
at Wilna, and consisted, at the opening of the campaign, 
of 120,000 men. Considerably to the left lay ' ' the second 


army," as it was called, of 80,000 men under Bag- 
ration with whom were Platoff and 12,000 of his 
Cossacks ; while at the extreme of that wing, ' ' the army 
of Volhynia," 20,000 strong, commanded by Tormazofif, 
watched Schwartzenberg. On the right of de Tolly was 
Witgenstein with 30,000 men and between these again and 
the sea, the corps of Essen 10,000 strong. Behind the 
whole line two armies of reserve were rapidly forming 
at Novogorod and Smolensk, each, probably, of about 
20,000 men. The Russians actually in the field at the 
opening of the campaign were, then, as nearly as can be 
computed, 260,000 ; while Napoleon was prepared to 
cross the Niemen at the head of 470,000 men. 

The Czar was resolved from the beginning to act entirely 
on the defensive and to draw Napoleon, if possible, into 
the heart of his own country ere he gave him battle. The 
various divisions of the Russian force had orders to fall 
back leisurely as the enemy advanced, destroying: what- 
ever they could not take with them, and halting 
only at certain points where intrenched camps had already 
been formed for their reception. 

The difficulty of feeding half a million men in a country 
deliberately wasted beforehand, and separated by so great 
a space from Germany, to say nothing of France, was 
sure to increase at every hour and every step. Alex- 
ander's great object was , therefore , to husband his own 
strength until the Polar winter should set in around the 
strangers, and bring the miseries which he thus foresaw 
to a crisis. 

Napoleon, on the other hand, had calculated on being 
met by the Russians at, or even in advance of their own 
frontier, (as he had been by the Austrians in the campaign 


of Austerlitz and by the Prussians in that of Jena) ; of 
gaining a great battle, marching immediately either to 
St. Petersburg or Moscow, and dictating a peace within 
the walls of one of the Czar's own palaces. 

On June 24th the Grand ImperialArmy, consolidated into 
three masses, began their passage of the Niemen, — ^Jerome 
Bonaparte at Grodno, Eugene at Pilony, and Napoleon 
himself near Kowno. The Emperor rode on in front of 
his army at two o'clock in the morning to reconnoitre the 
banks, escaping observation by wearing a Polish cloak 
and hat ; his horse stumbled and he fell to the ground. 
"A bad omen — a Roman would return," some one 
remarked. After a minute investigation he discovered a 
spot near the village of Poinemen, above Kowno, suitable 
for the passage of his troops, and gave orders for three 
bridges to be thrown across at nightfall. The first who 
crossed the river were a few sappers in a boat. All was 
deserted and silent on the foreign soil, and no one appeared 
to oppose their proceedings with the exception of a single 
armed Cossack, who asked, with an appearance of surprise, 
who they were and what they wanted. "Frenchmen," 
was the reply ; "we come to make war upon your Em- 
peror ; to take Wilna, and deliver Poland." 

The Cossack struck spurs into his horse and three French 
soldiers discharged their pieces into the gloomy depths of 
the woods, where they had lost sight of him, in token of 
hostility. There came on at the same moment a tremen- 
dous thunder storm. Thus began the fatal invasion. 

The passage of the troops was impeded for a time; as the 
bridge over the Vilia, a stream running into the Niemen,had 
been broken by the Russians. The Emperor, how- 
ever, despising this obstacle, ordered a Polish squadron 


of horse to swim the river. They instantly obeyed ; but 
on reaching the middle the current proved too strong 
for them, broke their ranks, and swept away and engulfed 
many of them. Even during their last struggles the 
brave fellows turned their faces towards the shore, where 
Napoleon was watching their unavailing efforts with the 
deepest emotion, and shouted with their dying breath, 
" Vive r Kmpereur ! " 

Three of these noble-spirited patriots uttered this cry 
when only a part of their faces was above the waters. 
The army was struck with a mixture of horror and admira- 
tion. Napoleon watched the scene apparently unmoved, 
but gave every order he could devise for the purpose of 
saving as many of them as possible, though with little 
effect. It is probable that his strongest feeling, even at 
the time, was a presentiment that this disastrous event 
was but the beginning of others, at once tremendous and 

As these enormous hosts advanced into the Russian 
territory Alexander withdrew his armies as deliberately as 
the invader pushed on. Wilna, the capital itself, was 
evacuated two days before the French came in sight of it, 
and Napoleon took up his quarters there on the 28th of 
June. Here it was found that all the magazines, which 
he counted on seizing, had been burnt before the 
Russians withdrew. Already the imperial bulletins began 
to denounce the ' ' barbarous method ' ' in which the enemy 
resolved to conduct his defense. 

Napoleon remained twenty days at Wilna during 
which time he redoubled his efforts to secure quantities of 
provisions which were to be conveyed along with his 
army ; these were to render him independent of the 


countries through which he might pass. The destruction 
of the magazines at Wilna reassured him that he had 
judged well in departing from the old system of maraud- 
ing, which had been adopted in previous campaigns 
with success. At the end of this period Napoleon 
became aware that while the contracts entered into by his 
war minister were adequate for the army's needs, the 
handling of such enormous quantities of provisions, under 
the most favorable circumstances, must be slow and in 
some degree uncertain. Thus the Emperor found himself 
under the necessity, either of laying aside his invasion for 
another year, or of urging it in the face of every difficulty, 
all of which he had forseen except the slowness of a 
commissariat department. 

When Napoleon arrived at Wilna, he was regarded by 
the people as their liberator. A deputation was sent to 
him by the Diet of Warsaw entreating his assistance 
towards the restoration of their ancient kingdom, the 
re-establishment of Poland having been proclaimed. 
They came, they said, to solicit Napoleon the Great to 
pronounce these few words : ' * Let the kindom of Poland 
exist ! ' ' and then it would exist ; that all the Poles would 
devote themselves to the orders of the fourth French 
dynasty, to whom ages were but a moment, and space no 
more than a point. 

Napoleon's reply was not satisfactory, " In my position, 
I have many interests to reconcile, ' ' he said ' ' and many 
duties to fulfill." His answer was so extremely guarded, 
that the Poles became dissatisfied and offered little or no 
support to the French. " Had Poland been regen- 
erated ' ' says Bourrienne, ' ' Napoleon would have found 
the means of succeeding in his expedition. In his march 


upon Moscow, his rear and supplies would have been 
protected, and he would have secured that retreat which 
subsequent reverses rendered but too needful. ' ' 

During this delay Alexander was enabled to withdraw 
the troops which he had been maintaining on the flanks 
of his European domains and bring them all to the assist- 
ance of his main army. The enthusiasm of the Russian 
nation appeared in the extraordinary rapidity with which 
supplies of every kind were poured at the feet of the Czar. 
From every quarter he received voluntary offers of men, 
money, and whatever might assist in the prosecution of 
the war. The Grand Duchess Anne, whose hand Napo- 
leon had solicited, set the example by raising a regiment 
on her estate. PlatofF, the veteran hetman of the Cos- 
sacks, promised his only daughter and 200,000 rubles to 
the man by whose hand Napoleon should fall. Noblemen 
everywhere raised troops, and displayed their patriotism 
by serving in the ranks themselves and entrusting the 
command to experienced officers chosen by the gov- 

Napoleon at length re-entered the field without having 
done much to remedy the disorders of his commissariat. 
He at first determined to make St. Petersburg his mark, 
counting much on the effects which a triumphal entry 
into the capital would produce throughout the country, 
but .his troops meeting with some reverses at Riga and 
Dunaburg, he changed his plans and resolved to march on 
Moscow instead. 

The centre of the army was now thrown forward under 
Davoust with the view of turning Barclay's position and 
cutting off his communication with Bagration. This 
brought about an engagement with the latter on the 


23rd of July near Mohilow, the French remaining in 
possession of the town. The Russian commander in 
retreating informed Barclay that he was now marching, 
not on Vitepsk, but on Smolensk. 

During the three days of the 25th, 26th and 27 th of 
July the French were again victorious. Napoleon halted 
at Vitepsk for several days in order to allow his troops to 
recuperate. On the 8th of August the Emperor quitted 
Vitepsk and after a partial engagement at Krasnoi on the 
14th, came in sight of Smolensk on the i6th. On the 
loth of August Napoleon was observed to write eight 
letters to Davoust, and nearly as many to each of his 
commanders. ' ' If the enemy defends Smolensk ' ' he said 
in one of his letters to Davoust, "as I am tempted to 
believe he will, we shall have a decisive engagement 
there, and we cannot have too large a force. Orcha 
will become the central point of the army. Everything 
induces me to believe that there will be a great battle at 

The day on which the combat at Krasnoi was fought 
happened to be the Emperor's birthday. There was no 
intention of keeping it in these immense solitudes, and 
under the present circumstances of peril and anxiety. 
There could be no heartfelt festival without a complete 
^ victory. Murat and Ney , however, on giving in the report 
of their recent success, could not refrain from compli- 
menting the Emperor on the anniversary of his nativity. 
A salute from a hundred pieces of artillery was now 
heard, — fired according to their orders. 

Napoleon, with a look of displeasure, observed, that in 
Russia it was important to be economical of French 
powder ; but he was informed in reply, that it was 


Russian powder, and had been taken the night before. 
The idea of having his birthday celebrated at the expense 
of the Russians made Napoleon smile. 

Prince Eugene also paid his compliments to the Emperor 
on this occasion, but was cut short by Napoleon saying, 
' ' Everything is preparing for a battle. I will gain that, 
and then we will see Moscow. ' ' Segur says that Eugene 
was heard to observe, on leaving the imperial tent, 
" Moscow will destroy us!" 

The first and second armies of the Czar, under Bagra- 
tion and Barclay, having at length effected a junction, 
retired with 120,000 men behind the river which flows at 
the back of this town. 

As soon as Napoleon saw these masses of men approach- 
ing from the distance he clapped his hands with joy, 
exclaiming, ' ' At last I have them ! ' ' The moment that 
was to decide the fate of Russia or the French army, had 
apparently arrived. 

Napoleon passed along the line, and assigned to each 
commander his station, leaving an extensive plain unoc- 
cupied in front between himself and the Dneiper. This 
he offered to the enemy as a field of battle, but instead of 
accepting the challenge Barclay and Bagration were seen 
next morning in full retreat. 

During the night the Russian garrison had withdrawn 
and joined the army across the river. Before they departed 
they committed the city to flames, and, the buildings 
being chiefly of wood, the conflagration, according to the 
French bulletin, " resembling in its fury an eruption of 
Vesuvius." "Never," said Napoleon, "was war con- 
ducted with such inhumanity ; the Russians treat their 
own country as if it were that of an enemy. ' ' It now, 


however, began to be difficult in the extreme to extinguish 
the flames created by the retreating Russians. The 
Emperor in person used every effort to stop the pi ogress of 
the devouring element and render succor to the wounded. 
" Napoleon," says Gourgaud, " is of all generals, whether 
ancient or modern, the one who has paid the greatest 
attention to the wounded. The intoxication of victory 
never could make him forget them, and his first thought, 
after every battle, was always of them." 

It was very evident that the Russian commander had no 
desire that Napoleon should establish himself in winter 
quarters at this point. From Smolensk the Russians 
retreated to Dorogoburg, and thence to Viasma ; halting 
at each of these towns and deliberately burning them in 
face of the enemy. Having returned to Smolensk, Napo- 
leon became a prey to the most harassing reflections on the 
opportunity which had so lately escaped him of destroying 
the whole of the Russian armj^, and attaining a speedy 
conclusion of peace. Uncertainty began to gain ground 
with him ; vague presentiments made him desire to 
terminate as soon as possible this distant campaign. ' ' We 
are too far engaged to fall back," said the Emperor on 
arriving at Ougea ; ' ' and if I only proposed to myself 
the glory of warlike exploits, I should have but to return 
to Smolensk, there plant my eagles, and content myself 
with extending my right and left arms which would 
crush Wittgenstein and Tormasoff, These operations 
would be brilliant ; they would finish the campaign very 
satisfactorily, but they would not terminate the war. Our 
troops may advance, but are incapable of remaining sta- 
tionary, motion may keep them together : a halt or retreat 
would at once dissolve them. Ours is an army of attack, 


not of defense ; of operation, not of position. We must 
advance upon Moscow, gain possess'ion of that capital, and 
there dictate terms of peace to the Czar ! Peace is before 
us ; we are but eight days march from it ; when the object 
is so nearly attained, it would be unwise to deliberate. 
lyCt us, therefore, march upon Moscow ! ' ' 

At this period Barclay was appointed to the war min- 
istry at St. Petersburg, and Kutusoff, who assumed the 
command in his stead, was beginning to doubt whether the 
system of retreat had not been far enough persisted in. 
Napoleon ordered a vigorous pursuit of the enemy, hoping 
to come up with and crush him, before he could reach his 
ancient capital. The honor of marching with the advance 
guard devolved upon Marshal Ney, who gloriously justi- 
fied the confidence of Napoleon by the intelligence and 
bravery which he displayed at the battle of Valoutina. 
This was a most sanguinary fight. Four times were the 
Russians driven from their positions, and on each occasion, 
brought up reinforcements, and retook them ; at length 
they were finally overthrown by the valorous Gudin who 
charged at the head of his division, the vigor and impetu- 
osity of which led the enemy to believe that they were 
exposed to the shock of the Imperial Guard. Thirty 
thousand men were brought into action on either side, 
and the slaughter was terrible. Much individual bravery 
was also displayed on this occasion. But for the failure 
of Junot, — who had begun to show signs of approaching 
insanity, — to faithfully execute his orders,the victory might 
have been decisive. The Kmperor was much gratified, 
however, at the conduct of his troops at Valoutina. He 
repaired in person to the field of battle and passed in review 
the divers regiments which had distinguished themselves 


there. * ' Arrived at the 7th Hght infantry ' ' says Gour- 
gaud, "he ordered the captains to advance, and said to 
them, ' Show me the best officer of the regiment. ' ' Sire, 
they are all good — ' ' that is no answer ; come at least to 
the conclusion of Themistocles ; ' I am the first ; the 
second is my neighbor.' " 

At length Captain Moncey, who was absent on account 
of his wounds, was named. ' ' What, ' ' said the Emperor, 
' ' Moncey who was my page ! the son of the marshal ! 
Seek another ! " " Sire, he is the best. " " Ah, well ! ' ' 
said Napoleon, " I shall give him the decoration." 

Up till this time the 127th regiment had marched with- 
out an eagle, having had no opportunity of distinguishing 
itself. The Imperial ensign was now delivered to it by 
Napoleon's own hands. 

The new Russian general at length resolved to comply 
with the clamorous entreaties of his troops and fixed on a 
strong position between Borodino and Moskowa on the 
highroad to Moscow, where he determined to await the 
attack of Napoleon who was pushing the war vigorously, 
sword in hand, in the hopes of closing hostilities by one 
pitched battle. 

On the 5th of September Napoleon came in sight of the 
position of KutusofF and succeeded in carrying a redoubt 
which had been erected to guard the high-road to Moscow. 
This was efifected at the bayonet point, though not with- 
out great slaughter on either side. 

The next day the two armies lay in presence of each other 
preparing for a great contest. On the eve of, and before 
daybreak on the 6th, the Emperor was on horseback, 
wrapped in his gray coat, and exhibited all the alacrity of 
his younger days. On his return to headquarters he 


found a courier had arrived with dispatches announcing 
Marmont's defeat and the deHverance of Salamanca into 
the hands of WelHngton, M. de Beaussetalso arrived bring- 
ing from Paris a portrait of Napoleon's son which deeply- 
moved the Emperor. He caused the picture to be placed 
outside his tent where it was viewed by his officers. He 
then said to his secretary, ' ' Take it away, and guard it 
carefully ; he sees a field of battle too early. ' ' 

The Russians were posted on an elevated plain ; having 
a wood on their right flank, their left on one of the 
villages, and a deep ravine, the bed of a small stream, in 
front. Extensive field-works covered every prominent 
point of this naturally very strong ground ; and in the 
centre of the whole line, a gentle eminence was crowned 
by an enormous battery, serving as a species of citadel. 
The Russian army numbered about 120,000 men against 
which were opposed almost an equal number of French 
troops. In artillery, also, the armief^ were equal. The 
Emperor fixed his headquarters in the redoubt whence he 
had issued the order for battle in the morning ; the eleva- 
tion of the ground permitted him to observe the greatest 
part of the Russian line, 'and the various movements of the 
enemy. The young guard and the cavalry were before 
him, and the old guard in his rear. 

Before the engagement Napoleon addressed his troops: 
' ' Here is the battle you have looked for, ' ' — he said, ' ' for 
it brings us plenty; good winter -quarters, and a safe 
retreat to France. Behave yourselves so that posterity 
may say of each of you, — ' He was in that great battle 
beneath the walls of Moscow. ' ' ' 

At 4 o'clock on the morning of the 7th the French 
advanced under cover of a thick fog, and assaulted at 


once the centre, the right, and the left of KutusofE's 
position. Such was the impetuosity of the charge that 
they drove the Russians from their redoubts but this was 
for a short time only as they rallied under every line of the 
fire from the French, and instantly advanced. Russian 
peasants who, till that hour, had never seen war, and 
who still wore their usual rustic dress, distinguished only 
by a cross sewed on it in front, threw themselves into the 
thickest of the combat. As they fell, others rushed on 
and filled their places. Some idea may be formed of the 
obstinacy of the contest from the fact that one division of 
the Russians which mustered 30,000 in the morning only 
8,000 survived. These men had fought in close order, 
and unshaken, under the fire of eighty pieces of artillery. 
The Russians had the advantage of ground, of speaking 
but one language, of one uniform, of being a single 
nation, and fighting for the same cause. By 2 o'clock, 
however, according to the imperial buhetin, all hope had 
abandoned the enemy ; the battle was at an end, although 
the cannonade was not yet discontinued. The Russians 
fought for their retreat and safety, but no longer for the 

The result of this terrible day, in which the French 
fifed sixty -six thousand cannon balls, was that while the 
Russians were defeated they were far from routed . ' ' How- 
ever great may have been the success of this day," says 
Segur, "it might have been still more so if Napoleon, 
instead of finishing the battle at 4 o'clock in the after- 
noon had profited by the remainder of the day to bring 
his Guard into the field, and thus changed the defeat of 
the enemy into a complete rout. ' ' 


That the Kmperor suffered intensely during the day is 
well-known. He had passed a restless night and a violent 
and incessant cough cut short his breathing. 

As to his desire of preserving a reserve uninjured, and 
forming it from a chosen and devoted body, such as his 
Guard, Napoleon explained it to his marshals by saying: 
' ' And if there should be a second battle tomorrow, what 
could I oppose to it ? " 

General Gourgaud has added: " If the Guard had 
been destroyed at the battle of Moskowa, the French 
army, of which their guard constantly formed the core, 
and whose courage it supported during the retreat, could 
scarcely have ever repassed the Niemen." 

This refusal of Napoleon to engage his Guard is gen- 
erally held to have been one of his greatest military lapses. 
At the time they were demanded by Ney and others the 
enemy was all but beaten and the appearance of the 
Emperor at their head would in all probability have closed 
the day with a great victory to his credit, and, according to 
the opinions of many military men of this day, have ended 
the Russian campaign by this one battle. 

Night found either army on the ground they had occu- 
pied at daybreak. The number of guns and prisoners 
taken by the French and the Russians was about equal ; 
and of either host there had fallen not less than 40,000 
men. Some accounts give the total number of the slain 
as 100,000. 

The Russian commander fought desperately but was at 
last compelled to retire. His army was the mainstay of 
the country and had it been destroyed, the Czar would 
have found it difiicult to form another. Having ascer- 
tained then the extent of his loss and buried his dead, 


among whom was the gallant Bagration, the Russian 
withdrew from his intrenchment and marched on Mojaisk. 
Marshal Ney was rewarded for the noble share he had in 
the success of this battle, by the title of Prince of the 

The small number of prisoners taken at Moskowa, — or 
Borodino as the battle is frequently called, — the circum- 
stance of the Russians being able to carry away their 
wounded, and many other considerations amply prove that 
such another contest would have ruined Napoleon. The 
Russians ordered Te Deums to be chanted at Moscow in 
honor of what they termed a victory for themselves and 
Napoleon sent similar instructions to his bishops in France. 

Napoleon was so fortunate as to be joined exactly at this 
time by two fresh divisions from Smolensk which nearly 
restored his muster to what it had been when the battle 
began, and thus reinforced commanded that the pursuit be 
pushed. On the 9th the French vanguard came in sight 
of the Russian rear again and Napoleon prepared for 
battle but once more Kutusoff fled precipitately in the 
direction of the capital. 

The Kmperor reached the "Hill of Salvation, " — so called 
because from that eminence the Russian traveler obtains 
his first view of the ancient metropolis affectionately called 
' ' Mother Moscow, ' ' and hardly less sacred in his eyes than 
Jerusalem. The soldiery beheld with joy and exultation 
the magnificent extent of the place ; its mixture of Gothic 
steeples and oriental domes ; and high over all the rest 
the huge towers of the Kremlin, at once the palace and 
citadel of the old Czars. The cry of ' ' Moscow ! Mos- 
cow ! ' ' ran through the lines. Napoleon himself reined 
in his horse, and exclaimed, "Behold, at last, that cel- 
ebrated city ! ' ' 


It was soon observed that no smoke came from the 
chimneys, and again, that no military appeared on the 
battlements of the old walls and towers. Murat, who com- 
manded the van, now came riding up and informed the Em- 
peror that he had held a parley with Milarodo witch, general 
of the Russian rear-guard, and that he had declared that 
unless two hours were granted for the safe withdrawing of 
his troops, he would at once set fire to Moscow. Napo- 
leon immediately granted the armistice. When the 
Kmperor halted at the barrier he had the exterior of the 
city reconnoitred ; Eugene was ordered to surround it on 
the north, and Poniatowski to embrace the south, whilst 
Davoust remained near the centre ; the Guard was then 
ordered to march, and, under the command of I^efebvre, 
Napoleon entered Moscow, and prepared to establish 
himself in the city. He found the capital deserted by 
all but the very lowest and most wretched of its vast pop- 
ulation. The French soldiers soon spread themselves over 
its innumerable streets filling the magnificent palaces, the 
bazaars of the merchants,thechurches,convents and public 
buildings of every description. The meanest soldier 
clothed himself in silk and furs and drank at his pleasure 
the costliest wines. Napoleon, perplexed at the abandon- 
ment of so great a city, had great difficulty in keeping 
together 30,000 men under Murat, who followed Milar- 
odowitch, and watched the walls on that side. 

At midnight the Emperor, who had retired to rest in a 
suburban palace, was awakened by the cry of ' ' Fire ! ' ' 
The chief market-place was in flames and it was some 
hours before it could be extinguished. While the fire still 
burned Napoleon established his quarters in the Kremlin, 
and wrote by that fatal light, a letter to the Czar, containing 


proposals for peace. In his letter lie assured the Czar, 
' ' that whatever might be the vicissitudes of war, nothing 
could diminish the esteem entertained for him by his friend 
of Tilsit and Krfurt." 

The letter was committed to a prisoner of rank but no 
answer was ever received to it. On the next day the 
flames broke out again and in a short time various detached 
parts of the city were in flames, combustibles and matches 
were found in many places, and the water-pipes cut so that 
attempts to control the spreading flames were almost use- 
less. The wind changed three times in the course of the 
night and the flames always broke out again with new 
vigor in the quarter from which the prevailing breeze blew 
right on the Kremlin. It was now found that the gov- 
ernor, in abandoning the city, had set all the malefactors 
in the numerous jails at liberty. 

For four days the fire continued with more or less fury 
and four-fifths of the city was wholly consumed. ' ' Pal- 
aces and temples," says Karamsin the Russian author, 
" monuments of arts and miracles of luxury, the remains 
of ages long since past, and the creation of yesterday, the 
tombs of ancestors, and the cradles of children were indis- 
criminately destroyed. Nothing was left of Moscow save 
the memory of her people, and their deep resolution to 
avenge her fall." 

On the third night the equinoctial gale arose, the Krem- 
lin itself, from which point Napoleon had witnessed the 
spread of this fearful devastation, took fire and it became 
doubtful whether it would be possible for the Kmperor to 
withdraw in safety. 

About 4 o'clock in the morning, one of Napoleon's 

ofi&cers awoke him, to inform him of the conflagration. 


He had thrown himself on the bed only a few minutes 
before, after having dictated orders to the various corps 
of his army, and labored with his secretaries. He watched 
from the windows the course of the fire which devoured 
his fair conquest, and the exclamation burst from him : 
' ' This is then how they make war ! The civilization of St. 
Petersburg has deceived us ; they are indeed Scythians ! ' ' 

During several hours he remained immovable at the 
Kremlin. The palace was now surrounded by the flames 
and he consented to be conducted out of the city. He 
rode out through streets in many parts arched over with 
flames, and buried, where this was not the case, in one 
dense mantle of smoke. ' ' It was then ' ' says Segur, 
" that we met the Prince of Eckmuhl (Davoust). Thi? 
marshal, who had been wounded at the Moskowa, had 
desired to be carried back among the flames to rescue 
Napoleon, or to perish with him. He threw himself into 
his arms with transport; the Emperor received him kindly, 
but with that composure which in danger he never lost 
for a moment." 

' ' Not even the fictions of the burning, of Troy ' ' said 
the Emperor, ' ' though heightened by all the powers of 
poetry, could have equalled the destruction of Moscow. ' ' 

It was in the afternoon of the i6th that Napoleon left 
Moscow and before nightfall had reached Petrowsky, a 
country palace of the Czar, about a league distant, and 
where he fixed his headquarters. 

On the 2oth, the flames being at length subdued, or 
exhausted. Napoleon returned to the Kremlin still hoping 
that the Czar would relent on learning of the destruction 
of his ancient and sacred metropolis. Day after day passed 
and still there came no answer from Alexander. The 


Emperor's position was becoming hourly more critical. 
On every side there was danger ; the whole forces of Rus- 
sia appeared to be gathering around him. Then, too, the 
season was far advanced ; the stern winter of the North 
was at hand and the determined hostility of the peasants 
prevented the smallest supplies of provisions from being 
introduced into the capital. 

Daru advised the Emperor to draw in all his detach- 
ments, convert Moscow into an intrenched camp, kill and 
salt every horse, and trust to foraging parties for the rest 
— in a word to lay aside all thoughts of keeping up com- 
munication with France, or Germany, or even Poland ; 
and issue forth from Moscow, with his army entire and 
refreshed, in the commencement of the Spring. But 
Napoleon feared, and not without reason, that were he 
and his army cut off from all communication, during six 
months, the Prussians and the Austrians might throw off 
the yoke ; while, on the other hand, the Russians could 
hardly fail, in the course of so many months, to accumu- 
late, in their own country, a force before which his isolated 
army, on re-issuing from their winter quarters would 
appear but a mere speck. 

Another letter was now sent by Napoleon to the head- 
quarters of Kutusoff for Alexander. Count lyauriston 
was received by the commander in the midst of his generals 
and answered with such civility that the envoy doubted not 
of success. In the end, however, he was informed that 
no negotiations could be entertained and he declared his 
inability to even sanction the journey of any French mes- 
senger to St. Petersburg, without the authorization of his 
master. Kutusoff offered, finally, to send Napoleon's 
letter by one of his own aides-de-camp, and to this Eauriston 


was obliged to agree. The interview occurred on the of October ; no answer could be expected before the 
2oth. There had already been one fall of snow, and the 
dangers attendant on a longer sojourn in the ruined cap- 
ital were increasing every hour. 

It was under such circumstances that Napoleon lingered 
on in the Kremlin until the 19th of October when he 
decided to depart from Moscow. That evening several 
divisions were put in motion and the metropolis was 
wholly evacuated on the morning of the 22nd. This 
sudden departure was due in part to Murat's engagement 
with Bennigsen at Vincovo on the 1 8th, the day on which 
the suspension of arms expired, causing him to lose 3,000 
prisoners and forty pieces of artillery. General Milaro- 
dowitch, during a conversation with Murat a few days 
before, talked very frankly of the situation. Murat looked 
upon peace as indispensable to Russia, and was enlarging 
upon ' ' the continued success of the French ' ' and having 
opened for them the gates of Moscow. " Yes General, " 
replied Milarodo witch, briskly, "the campaign is over 
with the French, and it is now time it should commence 
with the Russians." 

On the 19th of October the Emperor with 6,000 chosen 
horse began his journey towards Smolensk, the care of 
bringing up the main body being given to Eugene Beau- 
harnais, while Ney commanded the rear. 

As Napoleon left Moscow he said to Mortier : "Pay 
every attention to the sick and wounded. Sacrifice your 
baggage, — everything to- them. I^et the wagons be 
devoted to their use, and, if necessary your own saddles. 
This was the course I pursued at St. Jean d' Acre. The 
o£&cers will first relinquish their horses, then the sub- 


officers, and finally the men. Assemble the generals and 
ofifcers under your command, and make them sensible 
how necessary, in their circumstances, is humanity. The 
Romans bestowed civic crowns on those who preserved 
their citizens ; I shall not be less grateful." 

From the commencement of this march hardly a day 
elapsed in which some new calamity did not befall those 
hitherto invincible legions. The Cossacks of PlatofE 
came upon one division at Kolotsk, near Borodino, on the 
ist of November, and gave them a total defeat. A second 
division was attacked the day after and with nearly equal 
success, by the irregular troops of Count Orloff DenizofE. 
The French now became separated by attacks made by 
Milarodowitch and the soldiers began to suffer from 
extreme hunger. On the 6th of November their miseries 
were heightened by the setting in of the Russian winter. 
Thenceforth, between the heavy columns of regular troops 
which on every side watched and threatened them, the 
continued assaults of the Cossacks who hung around them 
in clouds by day and by night, rushing on every detached 
party like the Mamelukes of Egypt, disturbing every 
bivouac, breaking up bridges before, and destroying 
every straggler behind them, to the terrible severity of 
the climate, the frost, the snow, the wind — the sufferings 
of this once magnificent army were such as have hardly 
been equalled in the world's history. 

The enormous train of artillery which Napoleon brought 
from Moscow was soon diminished and the roads were 
blocked up with the spoils of the city, abandoned of 
necessity, as the means of transport failed. The horses, 
having been ill-fed for months, were altogether unable to 
resist the united effects of cold and fatigue. They sank 


and stiffened by hundreds and by thousands. The starv- 
ing soldiery slew others of these animals that they might 
drink their warm blood and wrap themselves in their yet 
reeking skins ! All discipline had vanished. 

They were able to keep together some battalions of the 
rear-guard, and present a bold aspect to the pursuers, the 
heroic Marshal Ney not disdaining to bear a firelock, 
and share the meanest fatigues of his brave followers. 

The main Russian army, having advanced side by side 
with the French, was now stationed to the southwest of 
Smolensk, in readiness to break the enemy's march 
whenever Kutusoff should choose. Milarodowitch and 
Platoff were hanging close behind, and thinning every 
hour the miserable bands which had no longer heart, nor, 
for the most part, arms of any kind wherewith to resist 
them. All the reports brought to headquarters by the 
ofiScers, represented Kutusoff as disposed to oppose the 
French army and risk a battle, rather than abandon his 
positions which were on the road he wished to close 
against the continued retreat of the Emperor. Napoleon 
was not convinced by these reports. At daybreak, 
mounted on horseback, he started out to reconnoitre the 
camp and disposition of the enemy who was preparing to 
dispute Kalouga. As the Emperor arrived near Maloja- 
roslawetz a body of Cossacks was seen approaching. 
Napoleon and his escort prepared to defend themselves. 
Rapp had scarcely time to seize his chief's bridle and 
say, "It is the Cossacks, turn back!" ere a fierce band 
galloped towards them. The Emperor, scorning flight, 
drew his sword, and reigned his horse to the side of the 
road. The troop dashed past wounding Rapp and his 
horse. "When Napoleon saw my horse covered with 


blood," says Rappinhis "Memoirs," "he demanded if I 
had been wounded. I replied that I had come off with a few 
bruises, upon which he began to laugh at our adventure, 
although I, for my part, found it anything but amusing." 
The appearance of Marshal Bessieres, who arrived at 
the head of some squadrons of grenadiers of the Guard, 
sufficed to stay the disorder and put the Cossacks to flight. 

The Grand Army had mustered 120,000 men when it left 
Moscow. Including the fragments of various divisions 
which met the Emperor at Smolensk it was with great 
difficulty that 40,000 men could now be brought together 
in anything like fighting condition. These Napoleon 
divided into four columns, nearly equal in numbers ; of 
the first which included 6,000 of the Imperial Guard, he 
himself took the command, and marched with it towards 
Krasnoi. The second corps was that of Eugene Beauhar- 
nais ; the third Davoust's ; and the fourth destined for 
the perilous service of the rear, and accordingly strength- 
ened with 3,000 of the Guard, was intrusted to the guid- 
ance of Marshal Ney. 

Eugene and Ney at length entered Smolensk. The 
name of that town had hitherto been the only spell that 
preserved any hope within the soldiers of the retreat. 
There, they had been told, they should find food, clothing, 
and supplies of all kinds, and there being once more 
assembled under the eye of Napoleon, speedily reassume 
an aspect such as none of the northern barbarians would 

dare to brave. 

These expectations were far from realized. Smolensk 
had been almost entirely destroyed by the Russians in the 
early part of the campaign. Its ruined walls afforded 
only a scant shelter to the famished and shivering fugitives, 


and the provisions assembled there were so inade- 
quate to the demands of the troops, that after the lapse of 
a few days Napoleon found himself under the necessity of 
once more renewing his disastrous march. While at 
Smolensk Napoleon received dispatches from France, 
informing him that a false report of his death had occa- 
sioned an outbreak and which threatened for a brief period 
the colossal Empire he controlled. On receiving the news 
he exclaimed, with deep feeling, and in the presence of his 
generals: " Does my power then, hang on so slender a 
thread? Is my tenure of sovereignty so frail that a single 
person can place it in jeopardy? Truly my crown is but 
ill-fitted to my head if, in my very capital, the audacious 
attempt of two or three adventurers can make it totter. 
After twelve years of government, — after my marriage — 
after the birth of my son — after my oaths — my death 
would have again plunged the country into the midst of 
revolutionary horrors. And Napoleon II., was he no 
longer thought of ? " 

Napoleon left Smolensk on the 13th of November, 18 12, 
having ordered that the other corps should follow him on 
the 14th, 15th and i6th respectively thus interposing a 
day's march between every two divisions. 

It seems to be generally accepted that the name of 
Napoleon saved whatever part of his host finally escaped 
from the territory of Russia. KutusoflF appears to have 
exhausted the better part of his daring at Borodino and 
thenceforth adhered to the plan of avoiding battle. He 
seems to have been unable to again shake off that awe 
which had been the growth of a hundred of Napoleon's 
victories; — had he been able to do so the Emperor would 
probably have died on some battlefield between Smolensk 


and the Beresina, or been taken a prisoner in the country 
which three months before he had invaded at the head of 
half a million of men. The army of Napoleon had been 
already reduced to a very small fragment of its original 
strength, and even that fragment was now split into four 
divisions against any one of which it would have been 
easy to concentrate a force overwhelmingly superior. 

The Bmperor reached Krasnoi unmolested although the 
whole of the Russian army, moving on a parallel road, 
were in full observation of his march; Eugene, who 
followed him, was, however, intercepted on his way by 
Milarodowitch, and after sustaining the contest gallantly 
against very disproportionate numbers, and a terrible 
cannonade, was at length saved only by the fall of night. 
During the darkness Eugene executed a long and hazardous 
detour, and joined the Bmperor at Krasnoi on the 17th ; 
the two leading divisions now united, mustered scarcely 
15,000 men. It was then thought advisable to await the 
arrival of Davoust's and Ney's divisions before proceeding. 
Kutuso'Sf was again urged to seize this opportunity of 
pouring an irresistible force on the French position, and 
although he thinned the ranks of the enemy with 100 
pieces of artillery well placed, he ventured on no closer 
collision than one or two isolated cavalry charges. Napo- 
leon, therefore, held his ground in face of all that host, 
until nightfall, when Davoust's division, surrounded and 
pursued by innumerable Cossacks, at length was enabled 
to rally once more around his headquarters. Ney, how- 
ever was still at Smolensk. 

The Emperor now pushed on to relieve Eugene who 
was in command of the van with orders to march on Eiady 
and secure the passage of the Dneiper at that point. 


Davoust and Mortier were left at Krasnoi with orders 
to hold out as long as possible in the hope of being there 
joined by Ney. Long, however, before that gallant leader 
could reach this point, the Russians, as if the absence of 
Napoleon had at once restored all their energy, rushed 
down and forced on Davoust and Mortier the battle which 
Napoleon had in vain solicited. On that fatal field the 
French left forty-five cannon and 6,000 prisoners, besides 
the slain and wounded. The remainder with difficulty 
effected their escape to lyiady, where Napoleon once more 
received them, and crossed the Dneiper. 

Ney, meanwhile, having as directed by the Kmperor, 
blown up whatever remained of the walls and towers of 
Smolensk, at length set his rear-guard in motion and 
advanced to Krasnoi, without being harassed by any except 
PlatofF whose Cossacks entered Smolensk ere he could 
wholly abandon it. Ney continued to advance on the 
footsteps of those who had thus shattered Davoust and 
Mortier and met with no considerable interruption until 
he reached the ravine in which the rivulet lyosmina has 
its channel. A thick mist lay on the ground and Ney 
was almost on the brink of the ravine before he perceived 
that it was manned throughout by Russians, while the 
opposite banks displayed a long line of batteries deliber- 
ately arranged, and all the hills behind covered with 

A Russian officer appeared and summoned Ney to sur- 
render. ' ' A Marshal of France never surrenders ! ' ' was 
his intrepid answer, and immediately the batteries, distant 
only two hundred and fifty yards, opened a tremendous 
storm of grape-shot. ITey, nevertheless, had the hardihood 
to plunge into the ravine, clear a passage over the stream, 


and charge the Russians at their arms. His small band 
was repelled with fearful slaughter ; but he renewed his 
efforts from time to time during the day, and at night, 
though with numbers much diminished, still occupied his 
original position in the face of a whole army interposed 
between him and Napoleon. The Emperor had by this 
time given up all hopes of ever again seeing anything of 
his rear column. 

During the ensuing night Ney effected his escape — an 
escape so miraculous that the history of war can scarcely 
furnish a parallel. The marshal broke up his bivouac 
at midnight, and marched back from the I^osmina, until 
he came on another stream, which he concluded must 
also flow into the river Dneiper. He followed this 
guide, and at length reached the great river at a place 
where it was frozen over, though so thinly, that the ice 
bent and cracked beneath the feet of the men who crossed 
it in single files. The wagons laden with the wounded, 
and what great guns were still with Ney, were too heavy 
for this frail bridge. They attempted the passage at 
different points, and one after another went down, amid 
the shrieks of the dying and the groans of the onlookers. 

The Cossacks had by this time gathered hard behind, 
and swept up many stragglers, besides the sick. But Ney 
had achieved his great object; and on the 20th of November 
he, with his small and devoted band of 1500 men, joined 
the Emperor once more at Orcha. Napoleon, on seeing 
him received him in his arms, and exclaimed, " What a 
man ! What a soldier ! ' ' He could not find words to 
express the admiration which the intrepid marshal had 
inspired him with; he hailed him as " the bravest of the 
brave ' ' and declared with transport : "I have two 


hundred millions (of francs) in the cellars of the Tuileries, 
and I would have given them all to save Marshal Ney ! ' ' 

The Emperor was once more at the head of his united 
" grand army " — a sad remnant of its former glory and 
power. Between Smolensk and the Dneiper the Russians 
had taken 228 guns, and 26,000 prisoners. At leaving 
Smolensk Napoleon had mustered 40,000 effective men — 
he now could count only 12,000, after Ney joined him at 
Orcha. Of these there were but one hundred and fifty 
cavalry ; and, to remedy this defect, officers still in pos- 
session of horses, to the number of 500, were now formed 
into a ' ' sacred band, "as it was called, commanded by 
General Grouchy, under Murat, for immediate attendance 
upon the Emperor's person. 

The Russians were now uniting all their forces for the 
defense of the next great river on Napoleon's route, — the 
Beresina. The Emperor had hardly resolved to cross this 
river at Borizoff, ere, to renew all perplexities, he received 
intelligence that by a combat with Dombrowski there the 
enemy had retained possession of the town and bridge. 
Victor and Oudinot advanced immediately to succor Dom- 
browski and retook Borizoff ; but the Russians burned 
the bridge before re-crossing the Beresina. 

Napoleon now decided to pass the Beresina higher 
up, at Studzianska, and forthwith threw himself into 
the huge forests which border the river, adopting every 
stratagem by which his enemies could be puzzled 
as to the immediate objectofhis march . H is 1 2 , 000 brave 
and determined men were winding their way amidst these 
dark woods, when suddenly the air around them was 
filled with sounds which could only proceed from the 
march of some far greater host. They were preparing 


for the worst when they found themselves in the presence 
of the advanced guard of the united army of Victor and 
Oudinot, who, ahhough they had been defeated by Wit- 
genstein, still mustered 50,000 men, completely equipped 
and hardly shaken in discipline. 

Napoleon now continued his march on Studzianska, 
employing, however, all his wit to confirm the belief 
among the Russians that he meant to pass the Beresina at 
a different place, and this with so much success that the 
Russian rear-guard abandoned a strong position com- 
manding the river, during the very night which preceded 
the Emperor's appearance there. 

Two bridges were erected, and Oudinot had passed over 
before Tchaplitz, in command of the Russian rear-guard, 
perceived his mistake, and returned again toward Studzi- 
anska. Discovering that the passage had already begun, 
and that in consequence of the narrowness of the only two 
bridges, it must needs proceed slowly, Tchichagoff and 
Witgenstein now arranged a joint plan of attack. Platoff 
and his indefatigable Cossacks joined Witgenstein arriving 
long before the rear-guard of Napoleon could pass the 
fiver. The French that had made the passage were 
attacked by Tchaplitz, and being repelled by Oudinot left 
them in unmolested possession, not only of the bridges on 
the Beresina, but of a long train of wooden causeways 
extending for miles beyond the river over deep and dan- 
gerous morasses which but a few sparks were needed to 
ignite and destroy. 

Victor with the rear division, consisting of 8,000 men, 
was still on the eastern side when Witgenstein and 
PlatofE appeared on the heights. The still numerous 


retainers of the camp, crowds of sick, wounded, and 
women, and the greater part of the artillery were in the 
same situation. 

When the Russian cannon began to open upon this 
multitude, crammed together near the bank, and each 
anxiously expecting the turn to pass, a shriek of utter 
terror ran through them, and men, women, horses and 
wagons rushed pell-mell upon the bridges. The larger 
of these, intended solely for wagons and cannon, ere long 
broke down precipitating all that were upon it into the 
dark and half- frozen stream. ' 'The scream that arose at 
this moment," says one that heard it, " did not leave my 
ears for weeks ; it was heard clear and loud over the hur- 
rahs of the Cossacks, and all the roar of artillery." 

The remaining bridge was now the only resource, and 
all indiscriminately endeavored to gain a footing on it ; 
exposed to the incessant shower of Russian cannonade 
they fell and died in thousands. Victor stood his ground 
bravely until late in the evening, and then conducted his 
division over the bridge. Behind was left a great number 
of the irregular attendants besides those soldiers who had 
been wounded during the battle, and guns and baggage- 
carts in great quantities. The French now fired the 
bridge and all those were abandoned to their fate. The 
Russian account states that when the Beresina broke up 
in the Spring 36,000 bodies were found in the bed of the 

On the 3d of December Napoleon reached Morghoni, 
and announced to his marshals that the news he had 
received from Paris at Smolensk concerning Mallet's 
attempt to overthrow his government by announcing the 
death of the Kmperor, and the uncertain relations with 


some of his allies, rendered it indispensable for him to 
quit his army without further delay and return to Paris 
with all possible speed. They were now, he said, almost 
within sight of Poland ; they would find plenty of every- 
thing at Wilna. It was his business to prepare at home 
the means of opening the next campaign in a manner 
worthy of the great nation. 

At Morghoni, on the 5th, the garrison at Wilna met 
the Emperor and then, having intrusted to these fresh 
troops, the protection of the rear, and given the chief 
command to Murat, he finally bade adieu to the rulers of 
his host. He set off in a sledge at midnight, accompanied 
by Caulaincourt, whose name he assumed. Having 
narrowly escaped being taken by a party of irregular 
Russians at Youpranoni, the Kmperor reached Warsaw at 
nightfall on the loth of December. Here he met his 
ambassador, the Abbe de Pradt, to whom he said, ' ' I 
quit my army with regret; but I must watch Austria and 
Prussia, and I have more weight on my throne than at 
headquarters. The Russians will be rendered fool-hardy 
by their successes. I shall beat them in a battle or two 
on the Oder, and be on the Niemen again within a month 
— Monsieur ly' Ambassadeur, from the sublime to the 
ridiculous there is but a step. ' ' 

Resuming his journey, Napoleon reached Dresden on 
the evening of the 14th of December, where the King of 
Saxony visited him, and reassured him of his fidelity. 
He then resumed the road to his capital and arrived at the 
Tuileries on the i8th, late at night, after the Empress 
had retired. 

The remnant of the Grand Army meanwhile moved on 
towards France in straggling columns. They passed the 


Niemen at Kowno, and the Russians did not pursue them 
into Prussian territory. Here about looo men in arms, 
and perhaps 20,000 more utterly demoralized, were received 
with compassion. They took up their quarters and 
remained for a time unmolested, in and near Konigsberg. 
The French army crossed the Niemen on the ice, on the 
13th of December, defended still by Ney, who had to fight 
with the Russians in Kowno. He now fought at the 
head of only thirty men and was the last individual of the 
French army who left Russian territory, as he did so he 
threw his musket into the river defying the enemy with 
his last breath. When he came up with General Dumas 
m Prussian Poland he was scarcely recognizable, and on 
being asked who he was replied, with eyes red and glaring, 
' ' I am the rear-guard of the Grand Army ; I have fired 
the last musket shot on the bridge of Kowno ! ' ' 

The few who survived all these horrors, men who had 
fought in all Napoleon's campaigns, and wore the cross of 
the lyCgion of Honor on their breasts, were now so wasted 
with famine that they wept when they saw a loaf of 
bread ! 

The total loss in this terrible campaign was somewhere 
near 450,000 men ; fatigue, hunger and cold had caused 
the death of 132,000; and the Russians had taken 
prisoners of 193,000 — including forty-eight generals and 
three thousand regimental officers. The eagles and stand- 
ards left in the enemy's hands were seventy-five in number 
and the pieces of cannon nearly one thousand. 



To the premature cold, and burning of Moscow, Napo- 
leon attributed the failure of his campaign in Russia. 
His arrival at theTuileries had been preceded by the 29th 
bulletin in which the fatal events of the campaign were 
fully and graphically recited. While he had not 
been able to conquer the elements he found the Senate and 
all the public bodies full of adulation and willingness to obey 
his commands. However, what had been foreseen by almost 
every person of discernment, except Napoleon, soon fol- 
lowed, viz. , an alliance against France by Prussia, Russia 
and Austria. 

New conscriptions were now called for and yielded ; 
regiments arrived from Spain and Ital}'' ; every arsenal 
resounded with the preparation of new artillery. ' 'The 
wonderful energies of Napoleon's mind, ' ' says Scott, ' 'and 
the influence which he could exert over the minds of 
others, were never so striking as at this period of his 
reign. He had returned to the seat of his Empire at a 
dreadful crisis, and in a most calamitous condition. His 
subjects had been ignorant for three weeks whether he 
was dead or alive. When he arrived it was to declare a 
dreadful catastrophe. H< * * Yet Napoleon came, and 
seemed but to stamp on the earth, and armed legions 
arose at his call : the doubts and discontents of the public 
disappeared as mists at sunrising, and the same confidence 
which had attended his prosperous fortunes, revived in its 
full extent, despite of his late reverses." 

23 347 


Ere many weeks had elapsed Napoleon found himself 
once more in a condition to take the field with not less 
than 350,000 soldiers. Such was the effect of his new 
appeal to the national feelings of the French people. 
Meanwhile the French garrisons dispersed over the Prus- 
sian territory were wholly incompetent to overawe a nation 
which thirsted for vengeance. The king endeavored to 
protect Napoleon's soldiers but it soon became manifest 
that their safety must depend on their concentrating them- 
selves in a small number of fortified towns. Murat now 
resigned command of the troops, being succeeded by 
Eugene Beauharnais who had the full confidence of the 
Emperor. The new commander found that Frederick 
William could no longer, even if he would, repress the 
universal enthusiasm of the Prussians who were clamor- 
ous for war. On the 31st of January, 18 13, the king 
made his escape to Breslau, in which neighborhood ho 
French were garrisoned, erected his standard and called 
on the nation to rise in arms. Eugene, thereupon, 
retired to Madgeburg and shut himself up in that great 
fortress, with as many of the troops as he could assemble 
to the west of the Elbe. When Napoleon heard that 
Prussia had declared war against France he said with 
perfect calmness, "It is better to have a declared 
enemy, than a doubtful ally." 

It was now six years since the fatal day of Jena, and in 
spite of all of Napoleon's watchfulness the Prussian nation 
had recovered, in a great measure, its energies. The 
people answered the call as with the heart and voice of 
one man. Youths of all ranks, the highest and the lowest, 
flocked indiscriminately to the standard. The women 
poured their trinkets into the king's treasure, the gentle- 


men melted their plate, — England poured in her gold with 
a lavish hand. The thunder of the cannon of the Bere- 
sina had raised the hopes of the House of Bourbon until 
Louis XVIII. finally caused to be published in England, 
and distributed throughout the Continent, a proclamation 
in which he addressed himself to the people adroitly sup-, 
porting the common opinion which attributed to Napoleon 
the prolongation of the war, and promising, among other 
things, " to abolish the conscription." 

The Emperor of Russia was no sooner aware of this 
great movement, than he resolved to advance into Silesia. 
Having masked several French garrisons in Prussian 
Poland, and taken others, he pushed on with his main 
army to support Frederick William. Evidently he did 
not intend to permit the Prussians to stand alone the first 
onset of Napoleon, of whose extensive arrangements all 
Europe was aware. 

The two sovereigns met at Breslau on the 1 5th of March. 
Tears rushed down the cheeks of Frederick William, as 
he fell into the arms of Alexander ; " Wipe them," said 
the Czar ; ' ' they are the last that Napoleon shall ever 
cause you to shed." 

The aged Kutusoff having died, the command of the 
Russian army was now given to Witgenstein ; while that 
of the Prussians was intrusted to Blucher, an officer who 
had originally trained under the great Frederick and who, 
since the battle of Jena, had lived in retirement. The 
soldiers had long before bestowed on him the title ' ' Mar- 
shal Forwards ' ' and they heard of his appointment with 
delight. Blucher hated the very names of France and 
Bonaparte, and once more permitted to draw his sword, 
he swore never to sheathe it until the revenge of Prussia 


was complete. Bernadotte, now the Crown Prince of 
Sweden, and an ingrate, — owing not only his position but 
his very existence to Napoleon, — now landed at Stralsund, 
and advanced through Mecklenburg while the sovereigns 
of Russia and Prussia were concentrating their armies in 
Silesia. It was announced and expected that German 
troops would join Bernadotte, so as to enable him to open 
the campaign on the lower Kibe with a separate army of 
100,000 men. Wellington, too, was about to advance once 
more into Spain with his victorious armies. Three great 
armies, two of which might easily communicate with each 
other, were thus taking the field against Napoleon at 

Kre the Kmperor once more left Paris, he named Marie 
lyouise Bmpress-Regent of France in his absence. ^As 
the time approached when he was expected to as- 
sume the command of his army in the field his devoted 
subjects again and again expressed their loyalty to him 
and to France. He quitted Paris in the middle of April. 

On starting to join his j^outhful and inexperienced army 
at Brfurt, Napoleon said, " I envy the lot of the meanest 
peasant in my dominion. At my age he has fulfilled his 
duties to his country, and he may remain at home, enjoy- 
ing the society of his wife and children ; while I — I must 
fly to the camp and engage in the strife of war. Such is 
my fate. ' ' 

' ' My good lyouise ' ' he said at the same time, ' ' is 
gentle and submissive, I can trust her. Her love and 
fidelity for me will never fail ( !) . In the current of events 
there may arise circumstances which decide the fate of an 
Empire. In that case I hope the daughter of the Caesars 
will be inspired by the spirit of her grand-mother, Maria 


In three months an army of 350,000 men was raised, 
equipped and brought together, and General Segur says : 
" At any hour of the day or night the Emperor, whatever 
he was doing, could have told the numbers, the composi- 
tion, the strength of every one of the thousands of detach- 
ments of every branch of the service which he set in 
movement from every part of the Empire, the way they 
were uniformed or equipped, the number of marches each 
one had to make, the day, the place, even the hour at 
which each was to arrive." 

On the 1 8th he reached the banks of the Saale where 
the troops he had been mustering and organizing in 
France had now been joined by Eugene and the garrison 
of Madgeburg. 

The Czar and his Prussian ally were known to be at 
Dresden, and it soon appeared that, while they meditated 
a march westwards on Leipsic, the French intended to 
move eastward with a view of securing the possession of 
that great city. He had a host nearly 200,000 strong 
concentrating for action while reserves of almost equal 
numbers were gradually forming behind him on the 
Rhine. Napoleon arrived at Erfurt on the 23d of 'April, 
whilst Marshal Ney was taking possession of Weissenfels, 
after a contest which caused him to say ' ' he had never 
at any one time, seen so much enthusiasm and sangfroid 
in the infantry." And yet the veterans of Austerlitz, 
Jena, Friedland and Wagrani had nearly all disappeared 
from the ranks, and the honor of those eagles, so long 
victorious, had been committed to young conscripts, 
hardly conversant with their exercise, and by no means 
habituated to the fatiarues of war. 


The armies met on the first of May, — sooner than Napo- 
leon had ventured to hope, — near the town of IyUtzen,then 
celebrated as the scene of the battle in which King Gus- 
tavus Adolphus died. The evening before the battle 
Marshal Bessieres was forcing a defile near Poserna, and 
having, according to custom, advanced into the very 
midst of the skirmishers, a musket-ball struck him in the 
breast, and extended him lifeless on the ground. His 
death was concealed from the brave men he had so long 
commanded and by whom he was greatly beloved, 
until after the victory of the following day. 

The allies crossed the Klster suddenly, under the cover 
of a thick morning fog, and attacked the left flank of the 
French, who had been advancing in column, a^id who 
thus commenced the action under heavy disadvantages. 
But the Emperor so skillfully altered the arrangement of 
his army, that, ere the day closed, the allies were more 
afraid of being enclosed to their ruin within his two wings, 
than hopeful of being able to cut through and destroy 
that part of his force which they had originally charged 
and weakened, and which had now become his centre. 

Night interrupted the conflict and the next morning 
the enemy retreated, leaving Napoleon in possession of 
the field. His victory was less complete than was desir- 
able although he lost but ten or twelve thousand men 
while the allies lost above twenty thousand. 

A great moral effect was, however, produced by the 
battle. Napoleon, who had been regarded as already con- 
quered, was again victorious. The Emperor immediately 
sent dispatches to every court in alliance with France, to 
announce the event, ' ' In my young soldiers, ' ' he said, 
"I have found all the valor of my old companions-in- 

NAPoLEON the great 353 

arms. During the twenty years that I have commanded 
the French troops I have never witnessed more bravery 
and devotion. If all the Allied Sovereigns, and the min- 
isters who direct their cabinets, had been present on the 
field of battle, they would have renounced the vain hope 
of causing the Star of France to decline." 

Beaten at lyUtzen, Alexander and the King of Prussia 
fell back on L,eipsic, thence on Dresden, and finally 
across the Elbe to Bautzen. A want of cavalry prevented 
their pursuit. 

Napoleon entered Dresden on the nth of May, and on 
the 1 2th was joined by the King of Saxony who still 
adhered to him. The Saxon troops once more decided to 
act in concert with the French. As Napoleon approached 
Dresden, he was waited upon by the magistrates who had 
been treacherous to him and to their king, and had wel- 
comed the allies. 

' ' Who are you ? ' ' Napoleon asked severely. 

" Members of the municipality," replied the trembling 

' ' Have you bread for my troops ? ' ' inquired Napoleon. 

* ' Our resources, ' ' they answered, " ' have been entirely 
exhausted by the requisitions of the Russians and 
Prussians. ' ' 

"Ah!" replied Napoleon, "it is impossible, is it? I 
know no such word. Get ready bread, meat and wine. 
You richly deserve to be treated as a conquered people. 
But I forgive all from regard for your king. He is the 
saviour of your country. You have been already punished 
by the presence of the Russians and Prussians, and having 
been governed by Baron Stein." 


On becoming master of Dresden, the Emperor, as usual, 
sent proposals of a pacific nature to the allies, suggesting 
that a general congress should assemble at Prague to treat 
for peace. Neither Russia nor Prussia, however, would 
listen favorably to what they considered would be an 
admission of their incapacity to realize their boast of 
speedily dethroning ' ' the scourge and tyrant of Europe 
and mankind." 

Austria had been sounded, and expressed her willing- 
ness to join the coalition on the first favorable opportunity. 
She was at this time increasing her military establish- 
ment largely, and a great body of troops was already 
concentrated behind the mountainous frontier of Bohemia. 
Austria, therefore, was enabled to turn the scale on 
whichever side she might choose. 

Napoleon now determined to crush the army which had 
retreated from I^utzen, ere the ceremonious cabinet of 
Vienna should ha,ve time to come to a distinct under- 
standing with the headquarters of Alexander and Fred- 
erick William. That victory was the best method of se- 
curing Austria's help, Napoleon clearly saw. 

The allies, on their retreat, had blown up the mag- 
nificent bridge over the Elbe at Dresden, and this being 
replaced in part by some arches of wood, Napoleon now 
moved towards Bautzen and came in sight of the enemy 
on the morning of the 21st of May. The position of the 
allies was almost perfect : in their front was the river 
Spree ; wooded hills supported their right, and eminences 
well fortified their left. 
' The action began with an attempt to turn their right, 
but Barclay de Tolly anticipated this movement and 
repelled it with such vigor that a whole column of 7,000 
dispersed and fled into the hills of Bohemia for safety. 


Napoleon now determined to pass the Spree in front of 
the enemy, .and they permitted him to do so, rather than 
come down from their position. He took up his quarters 
in the town of Bautzen, and his whole army bivouacked 
in presence of the allies. 

The battle was resumed at daybreak on the 2 2d ; when 
Ney on the right, and Oudinot on the left, attempted 
simultaneously to turn the flanks of the position ; while 
Soult and Napoleon himself directed charge after charge 
on the centre. During four hours the struggle was main- 
tained with unflinching obstinacy. The wooded heights, 
where Blucher commanded, had been taken and retaken 
several times, ere the allies perceived the necessity of 
retiring or losing the engagement. They finally withdrew, 
panic-stricken, con tinning their retreat with such celerity as 
to gain time to rally on the roads leading to Bohemia, all 
others being closed against them. The want of cavalry, 
however, again prevented Napoleon from turning his suc- 
cess to account. 

During the whole of the ensuing day Napoleon, at the 
head of the cavalry of the Guard, urged pursuit and 
exposed at all times his own person in the very hottest of 
the fire. By his side was Duroc, grand master of the 
palkce — his dearest friend. " Duroc," said the Emperor, 
on the morning of the battle, " fortune has a spite at us 

About 7 o'clock in the evening, Duroc was conversing 
on a slight eminence, and at a considerable distance from 
the firing, with Marshal Mortier and General Kirgener, — 
all three on foot, — when a cannon-ball, aimed at the group, 
ploughed up the ground near Mortier, ripped open Duroc' s 
abdomen and struck General Kirgener dead on the spot. 


Napoleon hastened to Duroc as soon as he heard of the 
event and was deeply moved on beholding him. The 
latter, who was still conscious, said to the Bmperor : "All 
my life has been devoted to your service, and I only regret 
its loss for the use which it might still have been to you. ' ' 

' ' Duroc, ' ' replied the Emperor, ' ' there is another life ! 
it is there that you will await me and there we shall one 
day meet." — " Yes, Sire, but that will be in thirty years, 
when you shall have triumphed over your enemies, and 
realized the hopes of your country ; I have lived an 
honest man and have nothing to reproach myself with. 
I leave a daughter, your Majesty will be a father to her." 

At Duroc 's own solicitation the Bmperor retired to spare 
him further grief. Napoleon had ordered Iris troops to 
halt, and he remained all the afternoon in front of his 
tent, surrounded by the Guard, who did not witness his 
affliction without tears. He stood by Duroc while he died 
and drew up with his own hand an epitaph, to be placed 
over his remains by the pastor of the place, and who 
received two hundred napoleons to defray the expense of a 
fitting monument. Thus closed the 22d, 

That night Napoleon, after dictating the bulletin of the 
battle, wrote the following decree, "which," says Alison, 
"all lovers of the arts, as well as admirers- of patriotic 
virtue, must regret was prevented by his fall from being 
carried into execution : " — "A monument shall be erected 
on Mount Cenis ; on the most conspicuous space the 
following inscription shall be written : ' The Bmperor 
Napoleon, from the field of Wurschen, has ordered the 
erection of this monument in testimony of his gratitude 
to the people of France and of Italy. This monument 
will transmit, from age to age, the remembrance of that 


great epocii, when, in the space of three months, twelve 
hundred thousand men flew to arms, to protect the integ- 
rity of the French Empire.' " 

The allies, although strongly posted during the most of 
the day, had lost 10,000 men. They continued to retreat 
into Upper Silesia, and Napoleon advanced toBreslauand 
released the garrison of Glogau. General Regnier obtained 
fresh advantage over the Russians in the affair of Gorlitz 
on the following day, and on the 24th Marshal Ney forced 
the passage of the Neiss and in the morning of the 25th 
was beyond the Quiess where he met the Emperor. 

Meanwhile, the Austrians, having watched these 
indecisive though bloody fields, and daily defeats of the 
allies, sought to bring about an armistice, but only with a 
view of gaining them time to recuperate. The sovereigns 
of Russia and Prussia expressed a willingness to accept 
it, and Napoleon also was desirous of bringing his dis- 
putes to a peaceful termination until the loth of August. 
He agreed to an armistice, and in arranging its conditions, 
agreed to fall back out of Silesia, thus enabling the allies 
to reopen communications with Berlin. On the first of 
June the lines of truce to be occupied by the armies was 
signed, the French Emperor returned to Dresden, and a 
general congress of diplomatists prepared to meet at 
Prague, England alone refusing to send a representative 
alleging that Napoleon had as yet signified no intention 
to recede from his position with regard to Spain. 

The armistice was arranged purely to gain time. Napo- 
leon's successes, while unproductive, were dazzling in 
their execution, and the allies found it of the utmost 
importance to stop hostilities until the advance of Berna- 
dotte, and secure further time for the arrival of new rein- 


forcements from Russia ; for the completion of the Prus- 
sian organization and, above all, for determining the 
policy of Vienna. 

While inferior diplomatists wasted much time in endless 
discussions at Prague one interview between Prince Met- 
ternich and Napoleon, at Dresden, brought the whole 
question to a definite issue. The Emperor, during the 
course of their conversation, is said to have asked "What 
is your price ? Will Illyria satisfy you? I only wish you 
to be neutral — I can deal with theseRussians and Prussians 
single-handed. ' ' 

Metternich answered that the time in which Austria 
could be neutral was past ; that the situation of Europe at 
large must be considered. He declared that the Rhenish 
Confederacy must be broken up, that France must be 
contented with the boundary of the Rhine and pretend no 
longer to maintain her unnatural influence in Germany. 
Napoleon replied, "Come Metternich, tell me honestly 
how much the English have given you to take their part 
against me?" 

At length the Austrian Court sent a formal document 
containing its ultimatum, the tenor of which Metternich 
had indicated in his coversation. Napoleon was urged 
by his ministers, Talleyrand and Fouche, two arch- 
intriguers, to accede to the proffered terms. Their argu- 
ments were backed by intelligence of the most disastrous 
character from Spain. Wellington, on perceiving that 
Napoleon had greatly weakened his armies in that country, 
while preparing for his campaign against Prussia and 
Russia, had once more advanced and was now in pos- 
session of the supreme authority over the Spanish armies 
as well as the Portugese and English, and had appeared 


in greater force than ever. The French had suffered defeat 
at several points and on the 21st of June, Joseph Bonaparte 
and Marshal Jourdan had sustained a total defeat, and 
the former was now retreating towards the Pyrenees. 

Berthier concurred in pressing upon the Emperor the 
desirability of making peace on the terms proposed, or to 
draw in his garrisons on the Oder and Elbe, whereby he 
would strengthen his army with 50,000 veterans and 
retire to the Rhine. There, it was urged, with such a 
force assembled on such a river, and with all the resources 
of France behind him , he might bid defiance to the united 
armies of Europe, and, at worst, obtain a peace that 
would leave him in secure tenure of a nobler dominion 
than any of the kings, his predecessors, had even hoped 
to possess. "Ten lost battles," he replied, "would not 
sink me lower than you would have me place myself by 
my own voluntary act ; but one battle gained enables me 
to seize Berlin and Breslau and make peace on terms com- 
patible with my glory. ' ' 

Finally, Metternich suddenly broke off all negotiations, 
and on the 12th of August, Austria declared war against 
France. It was an act of bold and shameless perfidy ; 
but Metternich was richly rewarded for his treachery by 
the crowned heads of Europe. It was then that Napo- 
leon discovered the depth of the abyss on which he had 
set his foot. He had lived in the hopes that his alliance 
with the House of Austria, by marriage with Marie lyouise, 
would prevent the Archduchess' father from taking the 
field against him, but in this he was sadly disappointed. 
Austria now signed an alliance, offensive and defensive, 
with Russia and Prussia. Thus was consolidated at last 


the great coalition. The sovereigns of the nations of 
Europe had leagued together and sworn to crush the 
Emperor of France. 

On the night between the loth and nth rockets answer- 
ing rockets, from height to height along the frontiers of 
Bohemia and Silesia, had 'announced to all the armies of 
the allies this accession of strength and the immediate 
recommencement of hostilities. Napoleon had now been 
several weeks with his army at Dresden and it had been 
fondly hoped by the populace that on th^ birthday of the 
French Emperor, a peace with Europe would be signed. 
They had prepared a magnificent festival in his honor and 
to celebrate the restoration of peace. Their hopes were 
considerably lessened, however, by an order for the fete to 
take place on the loth in conjunction with a grand review 
of the army. On the great plain of Ostra-Gehege, near 
Dresden, the imperial troops were drawn up, and in the 
presence of the King of Saxony, the Emperor's brothers, 
marshals, and the chief dignitaries of the Empire, Napo- 
leon held his last review. Twenty thousand of the Old 
Guard, five thousand of whom were mounted on fine 
horses richy caparisoned, with the whole of his vast 
army, defiled before their Imperial Commander. At night 
a banquet was spread for his gallant veterans. 

Military preparations had been progressing on both sides 
during the cessation of hostilities. Napoleon now had a 
force of 250,000 men distributed as follows: Macdonald 
lay with 100,000 at Buntzlaw, on the border of Silesia; 
another corps of 50,000 had their headquarters at Zittau, 
in Eusatia ; St. C5^r, with 20,000 was at Pirna on the 
great pass from Bohemia ; Oudinot at Eeipsic, with 60,000 ; 
while with the Emperor himself at Dresden remained 
25,000 of the Imperial Guard, the flower of France. 


Behind the Krzgebirge, or Metallic Mountains, and 
having their headquarters at Prague, lay the grand army 
of the allies, consisting of 120,000 Austrians and 80,000 
Russians and Prussians ; commanded in chief by the Aus- 
trian general Schwartzenberg. The French corps at 
Zittau and Pirna were prepared to encounter these, should 
they attempt to force their way into Saxony, either on the 
right or the left of the Kibe. The second army of the 
allies, consisting of 80,000 Russians and Prussians, — called 
the army of Silesia, — and commanded by Blucher, lay in 
advance of Breslau. I^astly,the Crown Prince of Sweden, 
Bernadotte, who had been influenced by a belief that he 
was to succeed to the throne of France, was at Berlin, with 
30,000 of his own troops, and 60,000 Russians and Prus- 
sians. Oudinot and Macdonald were so stationed that he 
could not approach the upper valley of the Kibe without 
encountering one of them, and they also had the means of 
mutual communication and support. 

Napoleon had evidently arranged his troops with the 
view of making isolated assaults, and beating them in 
detail. He was opposed, however, by generals who were 
well acquainted with his tactics but none of whom, except 
Blucher, was above mediocre in generalship. The three 
allied commanders had prepared counter schemes to frus- 
trate his arrangements, having agreed that whosoever of 
them should be first assailed or pressed by the French, 
they should on no account accept battle, but retreat ; thus 
tempting Napoleon in person to follow, leaving Dresden 
open to the assault of some other great branch of their 
confederacy, and to enable them at once to seize all his 
magazines, to break the communications between the 
remaining divisions of his army, and interpose a hostile force 
in the rear of them all — between the Kibe and the Rhine. 


This plan of campaign is believed to have been drawn 
up by two of Napoleon's old marshals — Bernadotte and 
Moreau — both traitors. The latter had just returned 
from America on the invitation of the Emperor Alexander, 
whither he had gone after being exiled, and had joined 
the Allies in their warfare on the French Emperor. 

The first movement was made by Blucher, and no sooner 
did Napoleon become aware that he was threatening the 
position of Macdonald than he quitted Dresden. He left 
with his Guard and a powerful force of cavalry on the 
15th of August, and proceeded to the support of his 
marshal. The Prussian commander adhered faithfully to 
the general plan and retired across the Katsbach, in the 
face of his enemies. While in pursuit of him Napoleon 
was informed that Schwartzenberg had rushed down from 
the Bohemian hills and abandoning Blucher to the care of 
Macdonald, sent his Guard back to Dresden leaving for 
the same point himself on the 23d. 

Schwartzenberg made his appearance on the heights 
to the south of the Saxon capital on the 25th, having 
driven St. Cyr and his 20,000 men before him. 

The army of St. Cyr had thrown itself into the city of 
Dresden and on the 26th were assailed in six columns, 
each more numerous than its garrison. The French 
marshal had about begun to despair when the Imperial 
Guard made its appearance, crossing the bridge from 
the eastern side of the Elbe, and in their midst was the 
Emperor himself. His arrival was most timely and the two 
sallies executed by those troops, hot and tired from their 
long and tiresome march, caused the allies to be driven back 
some distance. Night then set in and the two armies re- 
mained very near together until the next morning when 
the battle was renewed amidst a storm of wind and rain. 


The Emperor, by movements most phenomenal, now 
had 200,000 men gathered round him, and he poured 
them out with such skill on either flank of the enemy's 
line, that ere the close of the day they were forced to 
withdraw. At 3 o'clock the battle of Dresden was 
definitely gained for Napoleon. The allied monarchs, in 
danger of losing their communication with Bohemia, were 
obliged to provide for their safety and beat a retreat 
leaving in the power of the Conqueror from twenty-five 
to thirty thousand prisoners, forty flags, and sixty pieces 
of cannon. 

Napoleon remained on the field until his victory was 
decided, and then returned to Dresden on horseback ; his 
gray-coat, and weather-worn hat streaming with water, 
and his whole appearance forming a singular contrast to 
that of Murat, who rode by his side with all the splendor 
of his usual battle-dress. The latter had, however, 
especially distinguished himself during the action. 

On either side 8,000 men had been slain or wounded 
and one of the ablest of all the enemy's generals — Moreau, 
had fallen. Early in the day Napoleon had observed a 
group of reconnoitring officers and ordered that ten 
cannon be prepared at once. He believed that he rec- 
ognized in the group " the traitor Moreau." He at once 
ordered that the heavy guns, charged with all their power, 
be pointed in that direction. He superintended the oper- 
ation and decided himself the angle of elevation, the aim 
and the moment to fire. Ten pieces went off at once, 
carrying a storm of cannon-shot over the heads of the 
contending armies. This was followed by a movement 
which was thought to indicate that some persoii of impor- 
tance had been wounded. 
24 ' 


A peasant came in the evening and brought with him 
a bloody boot and a grey-hound, both the property, he 
said, of a great man who was no more ; the words on the 
dog ' s collar were : "I belong to General Moreau . ' ' Moreau 
was dead. Both his legs had been shot off. It is said he 
continued to smoke a cigar while the surgeon dressed his 
woimds, in the presence of Alexander, and died shortly 

The fatigues Napoleon had undergone between the 15th 
and 28th of August now overcame him and he was unable 
to remain with the columns in the rear of Schwartzenberg, 
but returned to Dresden. Here he learned of Vandamme's 
failure in an engagement in the valley of Culm with a 
Prussian corps commanded by Count D' Osterman, 
wherein the French lieutenant laid down his arms with 
8,000 prisoners. This news reached Napoleon, still sick, 
at Dresden. " Such," he said to Murat, "is the fortune 
of war — high in the morning, low ere night ; between 
triumph and ruin there intervenes but one step. ' ' 

No sooner did Blucher perceive that Napoleon had 
retired from Silesia than he resumed the offensive, still 
carrying out Moreau' s advice, ' ' attack Napoleon where he 
is not ! ' ' and descended from the position he had taken at 
Jauer. He encountered Macdonald, — who was by no means 
prepared for him, — on the plains between Wahlstadt and 
the river Katsbach, on the 26th of August, and after a 
hard fought day, gained a complete victory. The French 
lost 15,000 men and 100 guns and fell back on Dresden. 
Oudinot was defeated on the 23d of August by Berna- 
dotte at Gross-Beeren and Ney suffered like reverses on 
the 7th of September at Dennewitz, leaving 10,000 prisoners 
and forty-six guns in the hands of Bernadotte. 


Napoleon now recovered his health and activity, and 
the exertions he made at this time were never surpassed, 
even by himself. On the 3d of September he was in 
quest of Blucher who had now advanced near to the Kibe, 
but the Prussians retired and baffled him as before. 
Returning to Dresden he received the news of Dennewitz 
and immediately afterwards heard that Witgenstein had a 
second time descended towards Pirna. He flew thither 
on the instant, the Russian gave way, according to the 
plan of campaign, and Napoleon returned once more to 
Dresden. Again he was told that Blucher on the one 
side, and Witgenstein on the other, were availing them- 
selves of his absence, and advancing. He once more 
returned to Pirna ; a third time the Russian retired. 
Napoleon followed him as far as Peterswald and once 
more returned to his centre point. 

Bernadotte and Blucher finally effected a junction to 
the west of the Elbe, despite the heroic exertions of Ney 
who, on witnessing the combination of these armies 
retreated to Leipsic. Napoleon now ordered Regnier and 
Bertrand to march suddenly from Dresden to Berlin in 
the hope of recalling Blucher, but without success. 
Meantime Schwartzenberg was found to be skirting 
round the hills to the westward, as if for the purpose of 
joining Blucher and Bernadotte, in the neighborhood of 

It became manifest that Leipsic was now becoming 
the common centre towards which the forces of 
France and all her enemies were converging. Napoleon 
reached that venerable city on the 15th of October and 
almost immediately the heads of Schwartzenberg 's col- 
umns began to appear towards the south. Napoleon, 


having made all his preparations, reconnoitred every 
outpost in person, and distributed eagles to some new 
regiments which had just joined him. The young sol- 
diers, with a splendid ceremony, swore to die rather than 
witness the dishonor of France. Five hundred thousand 
men were now in presence of each other under the walls or 
in the environs of Leipsic and a grand battle had become 

At midnight three rockets, emitting a brilliant white- 
light, sprang into the heavens to the south of the city. 
These marked the position on which Schwartzenberg 
— having with him the Emperor of Austria, as well as 
Alexander and Frederick William, had fixed his head- 
quarters. They were answered by four rockets of a deep 
red color ascending from the northern horizon. 

Napoleon now became convinced that he was to sustain, 
on the morrow, the assault of Blucher and Bernadotte as 
well as the grand army of the allies. Blucher was indeed 
ready to co-operate with Schwartzenberg, and though the 
Crown Prince had not yet reached his ground, the numer- 
ical strength of the enemy was very great. Napoleon had 
with him to defend" the line of villages to the north and 
south of I^eipsic, 134,000 infantry and 22,000 cavalry ; 
while, even in the absence of Bernadotte, who might be 
hourly looked for, the allies mustered not less than 340,000 
combatants, including 54,000 cavalry. 

At daybreak on the 1 6th of October, the battle began 
on the southern side, the allies charging the French line 
there six times in succession, and were as often repelled. 
But it was not sufficient for the Emperor to resist with 
success and to hold his positions ; he had, more than ever, 
need of a signal triumph, of a decisive victory ; and when 


his enemies failed in their first attack, it was for him to 
attack them briskly in turn without giving them time to 
stay the disorder and discouragement of their columns, 
and to replace by fresh troops the fatigued and beaten 
soldiers; and this Napoleon did. He at once charged and 
with such effect, that Murat's cavalry were at one 
time in possession of a great gap between the two wings 
of the enemy. The Cossacks of the Russian Imperial 
Guard, however, encountered the French horse, and 
pushed them back again, preserving the army of the allies 
from a total defeat. The combat raged without intermis- 
sion until nightfall, when both armies bivouacked exactly 
where the morning light had found them, ' 'The allies were 
so numerous " said Napoleon at St. Helena, " that when 
their troops were fatigued they were regularly relieved 
as on dress parade!" With such a numerical superiority, 
they could scarcely be definitely beaten ; therefore, not- 
withstanding the prodigies of valor performed by the 
French army, the victory remained almost undecided. In 
the centre and to the right the French had maintained 
their position but on the left treachery made them lose 

Marmont commanded on this side. Blucher attacked 
him with a vastly superior force in numbers and while 
nothing could be more obstinate than his defense, he lost 
many prisoners and guns, was driven from his original 
ground, and occupied when the day closed, a new posi- 
tion, much nearer the walls of the city. 

Napoleon became convinced that he must at last retreat 
from I,eipsic and he now made an effort to obtain peace. 
General Merfeld, the same Austrian officer who had come 
to his headquarters after the battle of Austerlitz, to pray 


for an armistice on the part of the Kmperor Francis, had 
been made prisoner in the course of the day, and Napoleon 
resolved to employ him as his messenger. Merfeld 
informed him that the King of Bavaria had at length 
acceded to the alliance, thus adding greatly to his per- 
plexities in finding a new enemy stationed on the line of 
his march to France. 

The Emperor asked the Austrian to request for him the 
personal intervention of Francis. ' ' I will renounce 
Poland and Illyria' ' said he, ' ' Holland, the Hanse Towns, 
and Spain. I will consent to lose the sovereignty of the 
kingdom of Italy, provided that state remain as an inde- 
pendent one, and I will evacuate all Germany. Adieu! 
Count Merfeld. When on my part you name the word 
armistice to the two emperors, I doubt not the sound will 
awaken many recollections. ' ' 

Napoleon received no answer to his message. The 
allied princes had sworn to each other to entertain no 
treaty while one French soldier remained on the eastern 
side of the Rhine. He therefore prepared for the difficult 
task of retreating with 100,000 men, through a crowded 
town, in presence of an enemy already twice as numerous, 
and in hourly expectation of being joined by a thiid great 
and victorious army. During the 17th the battle was not 
renewed except by a distant and partial cannonade. The 
allies were determined to have the support of Bernadotte 
in the decisive contest. 

On the morning of the i8th the battle began again 
about 8 o'clock and continued until nightfall without 
intermission. Never was Napoleon's generalship or the 
gallantry of his troops more thoroughly tested than on this 
terrible day. He again commanded on the south and 


again, in spite of the vast superiority of the enemy's 
numbers, the French maintained their ground to the end. 
On the north the arrival of Bernadotte enabled Blucher to 
push his advantages with irresistible effect ; and the situa- 
tion of Marmont and Ney was further perplexed by the 
shameful defection of 1 2,000 Saxons who went over with all 
their artillery to the enemy in the very midst of the battle. 
These Saxons, forming nearly a third of the left, ran over 
to the Russians, entered their ranks, and at Bernadotte's 
request discharged their artillery on the French, their fel- 
low-soldiers, whom they had just abandoned! 

The loss on either side had been very great. Napoleon's 
army consisted chiefly of very young men, many were 
merely boys, yet they fought as bravely as the Guard. 
The failure of the Emperor was partly occasioned by a want 
of ammunition ; as in the course of five days, having fired 
more than two hundred and fifty thousand shots, his troops 
had not sufficient to continue the firing two hours longer. 
As the nearest reserves were at Madgeburg and Erfurt, 
Napoleon determined to march for the latter place. He 
gave orders at midnight for the commencement of the 
inevitable retreat, and while the darkness lasted, the troops 
continued to file through the town, and across the two 
bridges, over the Pleisse, beyond its walls One of these 
bridges was a temporary fabric and broke down ere day- 
light came to show the enemy the movement of the 
retreating French. 

The confusion necessarily accompanying the march of 
a whole army, through narrow streets, and upon a single 
bridge, was fearful. The allies stormed at the gates on 
either side, and, but for the heroism of Macdonald and 
Poniatowski, to whom Napoleon intrusted the defense of 


the suburbs, it is doubted whether he himself could have 
escaped in safety. At 9 in the morning of the 19th Napo- 
leon bade farewell to the King of Saxony who had 
remained all the while in the heart of his ancient city. 
The King was left to make whatever terms _he could 
with the Allied Sovereigns. 

The battle was now raging all round the walls and at 
II o'clock the allies had gathered close to the bridge. 
The officer to whom Napoleon had committed the task of 
blowing up the structure, when the advance of the enemy 
should render this necessary, set fire to the train much 
too soon. Tne crowd of men, urging each other on to a 
point of safety could not at once be stopped and soldiers, 
horses and cannon, rolled headlong into the deep, but 
narrow river. Marshal Macdonald swam the stream in 
safety, but the gallant Poniatowski, who defended the 
suburbs inch by inch, and had been twice wounded ere he 
plunged his horse into the current, sank to rise no more. 
This order was given to Poniatowski by the Emperor 
himself: "Prince" said Napoleon to him, "you will 
defend the southern faubourg." " Sire " he replied, " I 
have but few people. " " Ah ! well ! you will defend 
yourself with what you have." "Ah! Sire, we will 
maintain it ! We are always ready to perish for your 
Majesty." The illustrious, unfortunate Pole kept his 
word ; he was never again to behold the Emperor. I^ater 
Napoleon said of him : " Poniatowski was a noble man, 
honorable and brave. Had I succeeded in Russia, I 
intended to make him king of Poland. ' ' 

The body of the Prince was found on the fifth day by a 
fisherman. He had on his gala uniform, the epaulets of 
which were studded with diamonds, and upon his fingers 


were several rings covered with brilliants, while his 
pockets contained snuff-boxes of considerable value, and 
other trinkets. Many of these were eagerly purchased 
by Polish ofl&cers who had been made prisoners. 
Twenty-five thousand Frenchmen, the means of escape 
being entirely cut off, now laid down their arms within 
the city with more than two hundred pieces of cannon. 
In killed, wounded and prisoners, Napoleon lost at I^eipsic 
at least 50,000 men. 

" This defeat at I^eipsic " says St.Amand, " was for Na- 
poleon a combination of grief and surprise. Of all the 
battles he had fought, this was the first that he had lost. 
Up to that time he could boast that if he had been con- 
quered by the elements he had never been conquered by 
man; and now he was to know for himself the sufferings he 
had inflicted on others. He was to learn by personal 
experience the bitteress of defeat, the anguish of retreat, " 
the desperation of useless bloodshed. War, which up to 
this time had been a source of gratification to his unpar- 
alleled pride, now showed to him its horrors, with its 
humiliations and inexpressible anguish. The hour had 
struck when he could make tardy reflections on the 
emptiness of genius and glory on the intoxication of pride 
that had turned his head. ' ' 

The retreat of the French through Saxony was a sad 
ending to the auspicious beginning which the Emperor 
had opened the campaign with. Napoleon conducted 
himself as became a great mind amidst great misfortunes ; 
he appeared at all times calm and self-possessed, receiving 
every day that he advanced new tidings of evil, for the 
peasantry was hostile, supplies scarce, and added to this 
was the persevering pursuit of the Cossacks who attacked 
at every opportunity. 


The Bmperor halted for two days at Erfurt, where 
extensive magazines had been established, employing all 
his energies in the restoring of discipline. He resumed 
his march on the 25th of October, ,xSi3, towards the 
Rhine. The Austro-Bavarians hastened to meet him and 
had taken up a position amidst the woods near Hanau 
before the Emperor reached the Mayne. He came up 
with them on the morning of the 30th, and his troops 
charged on the instant with the fury of desperation. 
Napoleon cut his way through ere nightfall, and Mar- 
mont, with the rear, had equal success on the 31st. In 
these actions the French lost 6,000 men but the enemy 
had 10,000 killed or wounded, and lost 4,000 prisoners. 

The mill on the river Kinzig which runs without the 
town, was the scene of many desperate struggles. Here 
the French drove the Bavarians to the banks, precipitating 
hundreds into the deep stream. The miller, however, 
at the risk of his life, at length coolly went out, amidst a 
shower of balls and stopped the flood-gates, so as to leave 
a safe retreat to the Bavarians over the mill-dam. The 
side of the town next to the scene of battle was constantly 
taken and retaken by the contending armies, and during 
the night of the 30th the watch-word was changed not 
less than seven times. Six of the Austro-Bavarian's gen- 
erals were killed or wounded and both cannon and flags 
were left in the power of the conqueror. 

The pursuit of Napoleon, which had been intrusted to 
the Austrians, was far from vigorus and no considerable 
annoyance succeeded the battle of Hanau. The relics of 
the French host, now reduced to 60,000 men, at length 
passed the Rhine ; and the Emperor, having quitted them 
at Mayence, arrived in Paris on the 9th of November. 


By the defeat of the Emperor in the campaign of 1813 
the Confederation of the Rhine was dissolved forever. 
The princes who adhered to that league were now per- 
mitted to sue for forgiveness by bringing a year's revenue 
and a double conscription to the banner of the Allies. 
Bernadotte turned from lycipsic to reduce the garrisons 
which Napoleon had not seen fit to call in, and one 
by one they fell, though in most cases, particularly at 
Dantzic, Wirtemberg and Hamburg, the resistance was 
obstinate and long. 

The Crown Prince of Sweden having witnessed the 
reduction of some of these fortresses, and intrusted the 
siege of others to his lieutenants, invaded Denmark and 
the government of that country severed its long adhesion 
to Napoleon by a treaty concluded at Kiel on the 14th of 
January, 18 14, Sweden yielded Pomerania to Denmark ; 
Denmark gave up Norway to Sweden ; and 10,000 Danish 
troops having joined his standard, Bernadotte turned his 
face towards the Netherlands. Holland also revolted 
after I^eipsic, the Prince of Orange returning in triumph 
from England and assumed administration of affairs in 
the November following. On the side of Italy, Eugene 
Beauharnais was driven beyond the Adige by an Austrian 
army headed by General Hiller, and it was not at all 
likely that he could hope to maintain lyOmbardy much 
longer. To complete Napoleon's perplexity his brother- 
in-law, Murat, was negotiating with Austria and willing, 



provided Naples was guaranteed to him, to array the force 
of that state on the side of the Confederacy. Beyond the 
Pyrenees, Soult, who had been sent from Dresden to 
retrieve, if possible, the fortunes of the army defeated in 
June at Vittoria, had been twice defeated ; the fortresses 
had fallen, and except a detached, and now useless force 
under Suchet in Catalonia, there remained no longer a 
single French soldier in Spain. 

Such were the tidings which reached Napoleon from ' 
his Italian and Spanish frontiers at the very moment 
when it was necessary for him to make head against the 
Russians, the Austrians, and the Germans, chiefly armed 
and supplied at the expense of England, and now rapidly 
concentrating in three great masses on different points of 
the valley of the Rhine. The royalists, too, were exerting 
themselves indefatigably in the capital and the provinces, 
having recovered a large share of their ancient influence 
in the society of Paris even before the Russian expedi- 
tion. The Bourbon princes watched the course of events 
with eager hope. The republicans, meanwhile, were not 
inactive. They had long since been alienated from Napo- 
leon by his assumption of the imperial dignity, his crea- 
tion of orders and nobles, and his alliance with the House 
of Austria; these men had observed, with hardly less 
delight than the royalists, that succession of reverses 
which had followed Napoleon in his last two campaigns. 
Finally, not a few of Napoleon's own ministers and gen- 
erals were well prepared to take a part in his overthrow. 
Talleyrand, and others only second to him in influence, 
were in communication with the Bourbons, before the 
allies crossed the Rhine. "Ere then," said Napoleon, "I 
felt the reins slipping from my hands. ' ' 


The Allied Princes issued at Frankfort, a manifesto on 
the ist of December in which the sovereigns announced 
their belief that it was for the interests of Europe that 
France should continue to be a powerful state, and their 
willingness to concede to her, even now, greater extent 
of territory than the Bourbon kings had ever claimed — 
the boundaries, namely, of the Rhine, the Alps, and the 
Pyrenees. Their object in invading France was to put an 
end to the authority which Napoleon had usurped over 
other nations. The hostility of Europe, they said, was 
against, — not France, but . Napoleon — and even as to 
Napoleon, against not his person but his system. These 
terms were tendered to the Emperor himself, and although 
he authorized Caulaincourt to commence negotiations in 
his behalf, it was merely for the purpose of gaining time. 

Napoleon's military operations were now urged with 
unremitting energy. New conscriptions were called for, 
and granted ; every arsenal sounded with the fabrication 
of arms. The press was thoroughly aroused and with its 
mighty voice warned the allies against an invasion of the 
sacred soil of France. The French Senate was somewhat 
reluctant, however ; they ventured to hint to the Emperor 
that ancient France would remain to him, even if he 
accepted the proposals of the allies. "Shame on you," 
cried the Emperor, ' ' Wellington has entered the south, 
the Russians menace the northern frontier, the Prussians, 
Austrians, and Bavarians the eastern. Shame ! Wel- 
lington is in France and we have not risen en masse to 
drive him back ! All my allies have deserted — the 
Bavarian has betrayed me. No peace until we have 
burned Munich ! I demand a levy of 300,000 men — with 
this and what I already have, I shall see a million in arms. 


I will form a camp of 100,000 at Bordeaux ; another at 
Mentz ; a third at lyyons. But I must have grown men : 
these bo5^s only serve to incumher the hospitals and the 
road-sides. Abandon Holland ! Sooner yield it back to 
the sea ! Senators, an impulse must be given— all must 
march — you are fathers of families — the head of the 
nation — you must set the example. Peace ! I hear of 
nothing but peace when all around should echo to the cry 
of war ! ' ' 

The Senate drew up and presented a report which 
renewed the Emperor' s wrath.- He reproached them openly 
with designing to purchase inglorious ease for themselves, 
at the expense of his honor. ' ' In your address ' ' he said, 
' ' you seek to separate the sovereign from the nation. I 
alone am the representative of the people. And which of 
you could charge himself with a like burden ? The throne 
is but of wood, decked with velvet. If I believed you, I 
should yield the enemy more than he demands ; in three 
months you shall have peace, or I will perish. It is 
against me that our enemies are more embittered than 
against France, but on that ground alone am I to be suffered 
to dismember the State ? Do not sacrifice my pride and 
my dignity to obtain peace. Yes, I am proud because 
I am courageous ; I am proud because I have done great 
things for France. * * * You wished to bespatter me 
with mud, but I am one of those men who may be killed 
yet not dishonored. 

" Return to your homes ^ * * even supposing me 
to have been in the wrong, there was no occasion to 
reproach me publicly ; dirty linen should be washed at 
home. For the rest; France has more need of me, than I 
have of France. ' ' 


Having uttered these words the Emperor repaired to his 
council of state and there denounced the I^egislative Senate 
as one composed of one part of traitors and eleven of 
dupes, " In place of assisting, " he said, "they impede 
me. Our attitude alone could have repelled the enemy — 
they invite him, "We should have presented a front of 
brass — they lay open wounds to his view, I will not suffer 
their report to be printed. They have not done their 
duty, but I will do mine — I dissolve the IvCgislative 
Senate ! " 

The Pope was now released from his confinement and 
returned to Rome which he found in the hands of Murat, 
who had ere then concluded his treaty with Francis and 
was advancing into the north of Italy, with the view of 
co-operating in the campaign against Beauharnais, with 
the Austria ns on one side and on the other with an English 
force recently landed at I,eghorn, under I^ord William 
Bentinck. Ferdinand also returned to Spain, after five 
years of captivity, amid universal acclamations. "When 
first informed of Murat' s treason, by the Viceroy 
(Eugene) , "says Bourrienne ' 'the Emperor refused to be- 
lieve it. 'No! ' he exclaimed to those about him, ' It cannot 
be ! Murat — to whom I have given my sister! Eugene must 
be misinformed. It is impossible that Murat has declared 
himself against me . ' It was, however, not only possible 
but true." As St. Amand well says, in speaking of 
Murat' s desertion: "He might have united his forces 
with those of Prince Eugene and have attacked the inva- 
sion in • the rear ; he would have saved the Empire of 
France ; he would have died on the throne, covered with 
glory, instead of being shot ! " 


For a time the inhabitants of the French provinces 
on the frontier believed it impossible that any foreign 
army would dare to invade their soil, and it was not until 
Schwartzenberg had crossed the Rhine between Basle and 
Schaffhausen on the 20th of December, that they were 
willing to believe in the sincerity of the Allies and their 
determination to carry the war into France itself. Dis- 
regarding the claim of the Swiss to preserve neutrality, 
Schwartzenberg advanced through that territory with his 
grand army, unopposed — an indefensible act in itself, and 
began to show himself in Franche-Compte, in Burgundy, 
even to the gates of Dijon, 

On the ist of January, 18 14, the Silesian army, under 
Blucher, crossed the river at various points between 
Rastadt, and Coblentz ; and shortly after, the army of the 
north, commanded by Witzingerode and Bulow, began to 
penetrate the frontier of the Netherlands. 

The Pyrenees had been crossed by Wellington and the 
Rhine by three mighty hosts, amounting altogether to 
300,000 men and including every tongue and tribe from 
the Germans of Westphalia to the wildest barbarians of 
Tartary, ' ' Seven hundred thousand men, ' ' says Dumas, 
' ' trained by their very defeats in the the great school of 
Napoleonic war, were advancing into the heart of 
France, passing by all fortified places and responding, the 
one to the other, by the single cry, 'Paris! Paris!'" 

The allies proclaimed everywhere as they advanced, 
that they came as the friends, not the enemies of the 
French nation, and that any of the peasantry who took up 
arms to oppose them must be content to abide the treat- 
ment of brigands ; a flagrant outrage against the most 
sacred and inalienable rights of mankind. 


Meanwhile, nearer and nearer each day the torrent of 
invasion rolled on, sweeping before it, with but slight 
resistance, the various corps which had been left to watch 
the Rhine. Ney, Marmont, Victor and Mortier, com- 
manding in all about 50,000 men, retired of necessity before 
the enemy 

It now became apparent that the allies had resolved" to 
carry the war into the interior without waiting for the 
reduction of the great fortresses on the Rhenish frontier. 
They passed on with hosts overwhelmingly superior to all 
those of Napoleon's lieutenants, who withdrew, followed 
by crowds of the rustic population, rushing onwards 
towards Paris by any means of transport. Carts and 
wagons, filled with terrified women and children thronged 
every avenue to the capital. 

The Emperor now resolved to break silence to the 
Parisians and prepared to reappear in the field. On the 
2 2d of January, 18 14, the of&cial news of the invasion 
appeared. The next morning — Sunday — the ofiicers of 
the National Guard to the number of nine hundred were 
summoned to the Tuileries. Napoleon took his station in 
the centre of the hall and immediately the Empress, with 
her son, the King of Rome, carried in the arms of Countess 
Montesquiou, appeared at his side. 

' ' Gentlemen, ' ' said the Emperor ' ' France is invaded ; 
I go to put myself at the head of my troops, and with God's 
help and their valor, I hope soon to drive the enemy 
beyond the frontier. ' ' Here he took Marie Louise in one 
hand and her son in the other, and continued, " But if 
they should approach the capital, I confide to the National 
Guard the Empress and the King of Rome — my wife and 
my child ! ' ' — Several officers stepped from their places 
and approached with tears in their eyes. 



The Emperor spent part of the 24th of January in 
reviewing troops in the court- yard of the Tuileries, while 
the snow was falling, and at 3 o'clock in the morning of 
the 25th once more left his capital, after having burnt his 
most secret papers, and embraced his wife and son for the 
last time, to begin his fifteenth campaign. Thiers says 
of this farewell: "Napoleon, when he left, unconscious 
that he was embracing them for the last time, hugged 
tenderly his wife and son. His wife was in tears, and she 
feared she would never see him again. She was in fact 
fated never to s(te him, although the enemy's bullets were 
not to kill him. She would certainly have been much 
surprised if she had been told that this husband, then the 
object of all her care, was to die on a distant island, the 
prisoner of Europe, and forgotten by her. As for him, 
no prediction would have astonished him, — whether the 
crudest desertion, the most ardent devotion, — for he 
expected anything from men ; he knew them to the core, 
though he treated them as if he did not know what they 
really were." 

The Emperor again appointed Marie Louise Empress- 
Regent, placed his brother Joseph at the head of her 
council, gave orders for raising military defenses around 
Paris, and for converting many public buildings into 
hospitals. He arrived at Chalons ere midnight and found 
that Schwartzenberg with 97,000 men, and Blucher with 
40,000 men, -^ere now occupying an almost complete 
line between the Marne and the Seine. Blucher was in 
his own neighborhood and he immediately resolved to 
attack the right of the Silesian army, — which was pushing 
down the valley of the Marne, while its centre kept the 
parallel course of the Aube, — ere the Prussian marshal 


could concentrate all his own strength or be supported by 
Schwartzenberg who was advancing down the Seine 
towards Bar. 

On the 27th of January a sharp skirmish took place at 
St. Dizier ; and Blucher, who had committed all sorts of 
excesses during the last two days, warned of Napoleon's 
arrival, at once called in his detachments and took a post 
of defense at Brienne — the same town where Bonaparte 
had received his military education. 

The Kmperor marched through a thick forest upon the 
scene of his youthful studies and appeared there on the 
29th, having moved so rapidly that Blucher was at dinner 
in the chateau when the French thundered at his gates, 
and with difficulty escaped to the rear through a passage, 
on foot and at the head of his staff. 

The invaders maintained their place in the town cour- 
ageously, and some Cossacks, throwing themselves upon 
the rear of the French, the Emperor was involved in the 
melee; he quickly drew his sword and fought like a private 
dragoon and General Gourgaud shot a Cossack while in 
the act of thrusting a spear at Napoleon's back. The 
town of Brienne was burned to the ground by the Prus- 
sians in order to cover their retreat. 

AlsusiefF, the Russian commander, and Hardenberg, a 
nephew of the Chancellor of Prussia, were made prisoners 
and there was considerable slaughter on both sides. 
Blucher retired further up the Aube with a loss of 4,000 
men and posted himself at La Rothiere, where Schwartz- 
enberg, warned by the cannonade, hastened to co-operate 
with him. 

While at St. Helena Napoleon said that during the 
charge of the Cossacks at Brienne defending himself, sword 


in hand, he recognized a particular tree under which, 
when a boy, he used to sit and read the "Jerusalem 
Delivered" of Tasso. The field had been in those days, 
part of the exercise-ground of the students, and the 
chateau, whence Blucher escaped so narrowly, their 

Blucher now assumed the offensive, having joined 
Schwartzenberg, and on the istof February assaulted the 
rear-guard of the French army. Proud of their numerical 
superiority they reckoned upon an easy triumph. The 
battle lasted all day. At nightfall the French were 
left in possession of iheir original positions. A battery 
of guns had been taken, however, and Napoleon lost on 
this occasion seventy-three guns, and some hundred 
prisoners, besides a number of killed and wounded. The 
result of this action was equivalent to a defeat of the French 
army. -The cannoniers saved themselves, with their bag- 
gage, by forming a squadron and fighting vigorously as 
soon as they perceived that there was no time to use their 

The battle of Brienne and the defense of La Rothiere, 
Dienville and I^a Giberie, had gloriously opened the cam- 
paign, but Blucher and Schwartzenberg had such consid- 
erable forces at their disposal that Napoleon might fear 
being surrounded, or cut off from his capital, if he per- 
sisted in retaining his position in the environs of Brienne. 
The allies had now definitely resolved to march on Paris. 

While the division of Marmont retired down the Aube 
before Blucher, Napoleon himself struck across the country 
to Troyes which he had reasons to fear must be imme- 
diately occupied by Schwartzenberg. Here he was joined 
by a considerable body of his Guard, in high order and 


Spirits, whose appearance restored, in a great measure, 
the confidence of the troops who had been engaged in the 
defense of La Rothiere. On the 3rd of February the 
Emperor received a dispatch from Caulaincourt, inform- 
ing him that lyord Castlereagh, the English Secretary of 
State for Foreign Affairs, had arrived at the headquarters 
of the allies, that negotiations were to be resumed the 
morning after at Chatillon, and requesting him to intimate 
distinctly at what price he would be willing to purchase 

Napoleon replied by granting Caulaincourt full powers 
to do everything necessary " to keep the negotiations 
alive and save the capital." The Duke was unwilling to 
act upon so broad a basis and sent back once more for a 
specific detail of the Emperor's purposes. 

Napoleon had his headquarters at Nogent, on the Seine, 
some leagues below Troyes, when the dispatch reached 
him on the evening of the 8th of February, and his coun- 
sellors urged him to make use of this, probably last, oppor- 
tunity. He was prevailed upon to agree to abandon 
Belgium, the left of the Rhine, Italy and Piedmont, but 
in the night after the consultation, and before the ultima- 
tum had his signature, he received information which 
caused him to change all his views. When Maret visited 
him with his dispatches ready for signing Napoleon was 
poring over his maps, tracing the route* of Blucher on 
Paris. "Oh here you are!" he exclaimed as Maret 
entered, "but I am now thinking of something very 
different — I am beating Blucher on the map. He is 
advancing by the road to Montmirail; I will set out and 
beat him to-morrow. Should this movement prove as 
successful as I expect it will, the state of affairs will be 
entirely changed, and we shall then see what can be done." 


The Emperor had learned that Blucher, instead of con- 
tinuing his march down the Aube, and in communication 
with Schwartzenberg on the Seine, had transferred his 
whole army to the Marne, and was now advancing towards 
Paris by the Montmirail road. 

The separation of their forces by the allies was a great 
blunder and the Emperor, who at once detected it, could not 
resist the temptation which it presented to make one war- 
like effort more. Napoleon, therefore, refused to sign 
the dispatch on the morning of the 9th and having left 
small forces to defend the bridge over the Seine at Nogent 
and at Bray, commenced his march, with the main body 
of his army, upon Sezanne, prepared for one of the most 
extraordinary and successful manoeuvres which has ever 
been recorded in the annals of war. 

Forty miles were traversed over a most difficult country, 
usually considered impassable in winter, — ere the troops 
halted with the dark. Next morning the army moved 
again with equal alacrity, and at length debouched on the 
road by which Blucher' s army was advancing, at Champ- 

The central division was passing when Napoleon sud- 
denly appeared at this point, and was altogether unable 
to resist his assault. They dispersed in confusion with 
great loss and fled towards the Marne. The General- 
in-chief, Ousouwieff, at the head of twelve regiments 
was completely routed. He was taken with 6,000 of his 
men, and the remainder were drowned in a swamp, or 
killed on the field of battle. Forty pieces of cannon, and all 
the ammunition and baggage were left in the power of the 
victor. Napoleon had now interposed his army between 
the advanced guard of the Silesian army, commanded by 
Sacken, and the rear commanded by Blucher himself. 


The van of the same army turned, on hearing the can- 
nonade of Champaubert, and countermarched with the 
view of supporting AlsusiefP only to share the fate of the 
centre, and were put to flight after the loss of one-fourth of 
the division. 

Now it was Blucher's turn to be beaten. Napoleon 
mounted his horse at midnight on the 13th and came up 
with him at Montmirail. At 8 o'clock in the morning the 
shouting of the soldiers announced the presence of the 
Emperor. Blucher would gladly have declined battle, 
but it was out of his power. He was conquered but 
retreated with great skill and courage. After many 
hours of hard fighting his retreat became a flight. 
Blucher was frequently obliged to defend himself with 
his sabre during the day , surrounded by his staff, and chiefly 
owed his escape to the darkness of the night. 

He retired in alternate squares, sustaining all day the 
charges of the French with much loss of life and at 
length cut his way, at Ktoges, through a column of heavy 
horse, sent round to intercept him, and drawn up on the 

On the following day there was a fresh success. A 
hostile column, endeavoring to protect Blucher's retreat, 
was taken at Chateau Thierry, where the French troops 
entered pell-mell upon the Russians and Prussians. Five 
generals of these two nations were among the prisoners. 

Blucher finally crossed the Marne at Chalons. In five 
days Napoleon's armies had been successful three times ; 
he had shattered and dispersed the Silesian army, and 
above all, recovered the spirits of his own soldiery. 

A column of 7,000 Prussian prisoners, with a con- 
siderable number of guns and standards, reminded the 


Parisians that the commander of the French troops had 
not forgotten the art of warfare and their hopes were con- 
siderably heightened on hearing of these successes against 
the allies. But these allied armies, annihilated each 
day, reappeared incessantly, and always ready for battle. 
All Europe was now contending against the Emperor and her 
beaten and dispersed soldiers were immediately replaced 
by fresh troops. ' ' So alarmed were the Allies at the near 
approach of their terrible enemy," says Scott, "that a 
message was sent to Napoleon, from the Allied Sovereigns, 
by Prince Schwartzenberg's aide-de-camp. Count Par, stat- 
ing their surprise at his offensive movements, since they had 
given orders to their plenipotentiaries at Chatillon to sign 
the preliminaries of peace, on the terms which had been 
assented to by the French envoy. " Napoleon had, how- 
ever, learned the meaning of such messages in the course 
of his career, and paid no attention to this one. 

Scarcely had the Parisians seen the prisoners from 
Montmirail marched along their boulevards, before they 
heard that the Cossacks were in possession of Fontaine- 
bleau. Napoleon had left small divisions of his army to 
guard the Seine at Nogent and Bray, and the enemy soon 
discovered that the Emperor and his chief force were no 
longer in that quarter. While he was beating AlsusiefF, 
Sacken and Blucher had made good the passage of the 
Seine at three different points, driving the discomfited 
guardians of these important places before them. Schwartz- 
enberg now had his quarters at Nangis, and was, 
obviously, resolved to reach Paris, if possible, while 
Napoleon was on the Marne. The light troops of the 
grand allied army were scattering confusion on both sides 
of the Seine, and one party of them was so near the 
capital as Fontainebleau. 


Napoleon now committed to Marmont and Mortier the 
care of watching the Chalons road and the remains of 
Blucher's army, and marched with his main body on 
Meaux where on the 1 5th of February he received rein- 
forcements of 20,000 veterans from Spain, commanded by 

The latter' s troops had aided Marmont on the 14th in a 
victory over Blucher at the village of Vauchamp which 
cost the allies ten thousand prisoners, ten flags, ten pieces 
of cannon and many prisoners, including General Ourous- 
sofF, in command of the Russian rear-guard. 

On the 1 6th Victor and Oudinot were engaged with the 
van of Schwartzenberg, on the plains of Guignes, when 
the Emperor came rapidly to their assistance. The 
enemy immediately drew back, and concentrated his 
strength at Nangis. Napoleon attacked that position on 
the morning of the 17th, and with such effect that the 
allies were completely routed and retreated after consider- 
able loss. They halted, however, at Montereau and Victor, 
who commanded the pursuers on that route, failed to dis- 
lodge them because of greatly inferior numbers. Napoleon 
came up on the morning of the i8th and rebuked Victor; 
then dismissed him from the service. The marshal, 
with tears streaming down his face, said: " I will procure 
a musket, I have not forgotten my old trade ; Victor will 
place himself in the ranks of the Guard." 

The Emperor was vanquished by this noble language. 
"Well! Well! Victor," said he, tendering his hand, 
' ' remain ; I cannot restore you your corps, since I have 
given it to Gerard, but I award you two divisions of the 
Guard ; go and take the command of them, and let 
there be no longer a question of anything between us. ' ' 


The attack then commenced with fury and the bridge 
and town of Montereau were carried. The defense was 
long and stern, however, and Napoleon was occasionally 
seen pointing cannon with his own hand, under the 
heaviest of the fire. The artillerymen protested at the 
exposure of his person and entreated him to withdraw. 
He persisted in his work, answering gaily, " My children! 
the bullet that shall kill me is not yet cast. ' ' The inhabi- 
tants of Montereau associated themselves with this 
triumph by firing from their windows on the Austrians 
as they passed through the town. 

After distributing praises and rewards to the generals 
who had contributed to gaining this battle, Napoleon 
thought of those who had delayed their march, or exhib- 
ited negligence in their command, and among those 
reprimanded were Generals Guyot, Digeonand Montbrun, 
the latter for having abandoned the forest of Fontainebleau 
to the Cossacks, without resistance. 

Pursuing his advantage Napoleon saw the grand army 
of the invaders continue their retreat in the direction of 
Troyes, and on the morning of the 2 2d arrived before 
Mery, This town he found occupied, much to his aston- 
ishment, not by a feeble rear-guard of Schwartzenberg 
but by a powerful division of Russians, commanded by 
Sacken and therefore belonging to the apparently inde- 
structible army of Blucher. These unexpected enemies 
were charged in the streets, and at length retired out of the 
town, — which was burnt to the ground in the struggle,- - 
and thence bej^ond the Aube. The Emperor then halted, 
and spent the night of the 2 2d of February in a charcoal 
burner's cottaare at Chatres. 


Meanwhile negotiations were still pending at Chatillon. 
Caulaincourt, receiving no answer to his second dispatch 
sent to Napoleon at Nogent on the 8th of February, pro- 
ceeded to act on the instructions dated at Troyes on the 
3d ; and in effect accepted the basis of the Allies. When 
Schwartzenberg was attacked at Nangis, on the 17th, he 
had just received the intelligence of Caulaincourt' shaving 
signed the preliminary articles, and he, therefore, sent a 
messenger to ask why the Kmperor, if aware of his 
ambassador's act, persisted in hostilities; but received no 

Napoleon sent instead a private letter to the Emperor 
of Austria, once more trying to gain his friendship. The 
reply of Francis, written to him from Nangis, reached 
Napoleon at Chatres on the 23d. It announced Francis' 
resolution on no account to abandon the general cause, 
but declared that he lent no support to the Bourbonists, 
and urged Napoleon to avert by concession, ere it was too 
late, total ruin from himself and his House. Napoleon 
returned the envoy with a note signifying that now he 
would not consent to a day's armistice, unless the Allies 
would fall back so as to leave Antwerp in their front. 
The same evening news came from Paris that the Council 
of 'State had discussed the proposals of the Allied Powers, 
and with only one dissenting voice, now entreated the 
Emperor to accept them. He was urged, anew, to send 
to Chatillon and accept the basis to which Caulaincourt 
had agreed. He answered that he had sworn at his coro- 
nation to preserve the territory of the Republic entire, 
and that he could not sign this treat)^ without violating 
his oath. " If I am to be scourged " said he, "let the 
whip come on me of necessity, and not through any 


voluntary stooping of my own." The truth of these 
attempts at negotiation is that the Allies merely desired a 
simple suspension of arms, in order to gain time to rein- 
force themselves, and also in order to interrupt the too 
rapid course of Napoleon's successes in the last eight 
days. This the Emperor easily discerned through the 
maze of the contrary declarations of the foreign negotia- 
tors, and in fact is avowed by the historians of the 
campaigns of the Allies. 

Napoleon now resolved to push on as far as Troyes, at 
the same time permitting proposals for an armistice to be 
considered at L,usigny, and negotiations for peace to 
proceed at Chatillon. The Kmperor had meanwhile 
requested Oudinot and Macdonald, with their divisions, 
to manoeuvre in the direction of Schwartzenberg, in 
order to keep the Austrians in check. 

Napoleon learned at Troyes, in the night of the 26th of 
February, that the Prussian army was in motion. His 
resolution was soon taken. He again hastened to the 
succor of his capital, and came, with the prodigious 
celerity which rendered his marches and manoeuvres so 
distinguishing, to fall upon the rear of Blucher, who still 
had Marmont and Mortier in front. Marching rapidly 
across the country to Sezanne he received intelligence 
that these two generals, finding themselves inferior in 
numbers to Blucher, had retired before him in the direction 
of Ferte-sous-Jouarre, and were in full retreat to Meaux. 
This point he considered as almost a suburb to Paris and 
he quickened his speed accordingly. Hurrying on, at 
Ferte-Goucher he was at once met and overtaken by 
evil tidings. Schwartzenberg, having discovered the Km- 
peror' s absence, had immediately assumed the offensive, 


defeated Oudinot and Macdonald at Bar-sur-Aube on the 
27th, and driven them before him as far as Troyes ; and 
Augereau, who commanded in the neighborhood of I^yons, 
announced the arrival of a new and great army of the 
AlHes in that quarter. On the ist of March an important 
treaty was ratified at Chaumont between the sover- 
eigns of Austria, England, Russia and Prussia, by which 
the four contracting powers bound themselves each to 
maintain in the field an army of one hundred and fifty 
thousand men until the objects of the war were attained ; 
Kngland, as usual, engaging, over and above, to furnish 
a subsidy of four millions sterling. In a second clause, 
^ach of the four powers was bound never to make a sepa- 
rate peace with the common enemy. About the same 
time the commissioners at lyusigny broke up the nego- 
tiations for an armistice, on the plea of inability to settle 
the line of demarcation. 

Napoleon's operations were not checked, however. 
Having been detained for some time at Ferte, in conse- 
quence of the destruction of the bridge, he took the direc- 
tion of Chateau Thierry and Soissons, where he hoped to 
receive Blucher, while Mortier and Marmont received 
orders to assume the offensive in front of Meaux. The 
Emperor hoped in this manner to throw himself on the 
flank of Blucher' s march, as he had done before at Cham- 
paubert ; but the Prussian received intelligence of his 
approach and drawing his troops together, retired to 
Soissons. Napoleon proceeded thither with alacrity, 
believing that the French garrison intrusted with the care of 
that town, and its bridge over the Marne, was still in posses- 
sion of it, and would enable him, therefore, to force Blucher 
into action with this formidable obstacle in his rear. He 


did not know that Soissons had been taken by a Russian 
corps, retaken by a French one and fallen once more into 
the hands of the enemy, ere the Emperor came in sight 
of it. He assaulted the place with much vigor but the 
Russians repelled the attack. Learning that Blucher had 
filed his main body through the town and posted himself 
behind the Marne, Napoleon marched up the left bauk of 
the river and crossed it also at Bery. 

A few leagues in front of this place, on the height of 
Craonne, two Russian corps, — those of Sacken and Witz- 
ingerode, — were already in position, and the Emperor lost 
no time in charging them there, in the hope of destroying 
them ere they could unite with Blucher. The battle of 
Craonne began at ii a. m. on the ythof March and lasted 
until4 o'clockin the afternoon. The resistance of the enemy 
was most stubborn and the Emperor was preparing for a 
final effort, when suddenly the Russians began to retreat 
and he remained master of the field. He followed them ; 
but they continued to withdraw having been ordered to 
fall back on the plateau of lyaon, in order to form there on 
the same line with Blucher, who was once more eager for 
a decisive conflict, — having been reinforced by the van- 
guard of Bernadotte's army. 

On the 9th of March Napoleon found his enemy strongly 
posted along an elevated ridge, covered with wood, and 
further protected in front by a succession of terrace walls, — 
the enclosures of vineyards. There was a heavy mist on 
the lower ground and the French were advancing up the 
hill ere their movement was discovered. They were met 
by a storm of cannonade which broke their centre, and on 
either flank the French were all but routed. On all points 
they were repelled, except at the village of Athies, 


where Marmont had some advantage. Night interrupted 
the contest, and the armies bivouacked in full view of each 
other. Napoleon, although he had suffered severely, 
resolved to renew the attack and mounted his horse 
accordingly at 4 o'clock in the morning of the loth. At 
that moment news came that Marmont' s corps had just 
been assaulted at Athies and were compelled to fly towards 

The battle of Laon continued, all day, however ; Napo- 
leon was unable to turn his adversaries and on the nth 
he commenced his retreat, leaving thirty cannon and 10,000 
men. Soissons had been evacuated by the allies when 
concentrating themselves for the battle of I^aon, and 
Napoleon threw himself into that town, and was making 
rapid efforts to strengthen it in expectation of the Prussian 
advance, when he learned that a detached Russian corps 
had seized Rheims. 

The possession of this city could hardly fail to establish 
Blucher's communications with Schwartzenberg, and 
Napoleon instantly marched thither in person leaving 
Marmont to hold out as well as he could in case that should 
be the direction of Blucher's march. The Emperor came 
upon Rheims with his usual rapidity and on the 13 th took 
the place by assault. 

In this crisis, in which Napoleon was battling against 
numbers overwhelmingly his superior, it is remarkable 
to note the energy with which he turned from enemy 
to enemy, and behold his fearless assaults on vastly 
superior numbers, his unwearied resolution and exhaustless 
invention. In his every movement he seemed a perfect 
master of warfare; but he was battling against odds which 
even his indomitable will, courage and foresight, could not 


overcome. It should not be forgotten, also, that in addition 
to this extraordinary series of campaigns, he continued to 
conduct, from his perpetually changing quarters, the civil 
business of his Empire. 

The Allies, by a series of victories in various quarters, 
were now, to all appearance, in full march upon Paris, 
both by the valley of the Marne, and by that of the 
Seine, at a moment when Napoleon had thought to defeat 
their movements by taking up a position between them at 
Rheims. When Schwartzenberg learned that the Kmperor 
was at this point his old terror returned, and the Austrian 
instantly proposed to fall back from Troyes. This did 
not please Lord Castlereagh who announced that the 
Grand Army might retire if the sovereigns pleased, but 
that if such a movement took place the subsidies of 
England must be considered at an end. The Czar also 
opposed the over-caution of Schwartzenberg, who then 
took courage, and his columns instantly resumed their 
march down the Seine, to offer battle to Napoleon at Arcis, 

The Emperor was now struggling to decide which of 
two courses to pursue ; should he hasten after Blucher on 
the Marne, what was to prevent Schwartzenberg from 
reaching Paris ere the Silesians, already victorious at lyaon, 
could once more be brought to action by an inferior force: 
should he throw himself on the march of Schwartzenberg, 
would not the fiery Prussian be at the Tuileries long 
before the Austrian could be checked on the Seine? There 
remained a third course — namely, to push at once into the 
country in the rear of the Grand Army and thus strike the 
advancing Allies, both the Austriansand Prussians, with 
terror, and paralyze their movements. Would they per- 
sist in their cry, "On to Paris!" when they knew 


Napoleon to be posting himself between them and their 
resources, and at the same time relieving and rallying 
around him all the garrisons of the great fortresses of the 
Rhine? While Napoleon was thus tossed with anxiety 
for means to avert, if it were yet possible, the visitation 
of these mighty armies upon Paris, and unaware of 
Castlereagh's very effective threat, the capital showed 
small symptoms of sympathizing with him. The machinery 
of government was clogged in every wheel, and the"neces- 
sity of purchasing peace by abandoning him was the 
common burden of conversation. 

In this extreme situation, the gravity and peril of which 
he measured with a glance, the Emperor felt that he could 
only escape by a striking and decisive action, and he did 
not hesitate to direct the intended blow towards Schwartz- 
enberg, whose approach already spread alarm throughout 
the capital. The Emperor Alexander, on learning the 
successes of Napoleon at Craonne and Rheims, had feared 
that Schwartzenberg, by approaching the capital alone, 
would be again beaten separately, and that all these daily 
and isolated defeats would end by discouraging the troops 
of the Coalition, already filled with apprehension and 
alarm. The Czar, therefore, insisted in that council of war 
held at Troyes, that the two grand allied armies should 
forthwith manoeuvre so as to effect their junction in the 
environs of Chalons, in order to march thence on Paris, 
and crush everything which might be opposed to their 

This advice had prevailed and Napoleon met, on the 
20th, before Arcis, the entire army of Schwartzd-berg, 
which was bearing in a mass for this town, in order to 
cross the Aube, and rapidly gain the plains of Champagne 
where the i unction was to be effected. 



This sudden change of system in the military operations 
of the Allies completely disarranged all the plans o/ 
Napoleon, who quickly perceived the difficult and perilou? 
position in which he was placed, by encountering an army 
three times as strong as his own, where he had only 
thought to find a rear-guard. However, he quickly decided 
to take the chance by casting into the struggle the weight 
of his own example, and reckoning his personal 
dangers for nothing. His cavalry had orders to 
attack the Austrian light troops while the infantry 
debouched from Arcis ; but they were repulsed by thfe 
overpowering numbers opposed to them and driven back 
upon the town. In this extremity, Napoleon evinced the 
same heroic and almost reckless courage which he had 
shown at lyodi and Areola, and on other occasions. He 
threw himself, sword in hand, among the broken cavalry, 
called on them to remember their former victories, and 
checked the enemy by an impetuous charge in which he 
and his stafi"-officers fought hand to hand with the invaders. 
" Surrounded in the crowd by the charges of cavalry," 
says Baron Fain, in a volume called " The Manuscript of 
i8 14, " giving an account of the engagement at Arcis, * ' he 
freed himself only by making use of his sword. On 
divers occasions, he fought at the head of his escort, and, 
far from avoiding the dangers, he seemed, on the contrary, 
to brave them. A shell fell at his feet ; he awaited its 
bursting, and disappeared in a cloud of dust and smoke ; 
he was believed to be lost ; presently he arose, flung 
himself upon another horse, and again went to place him- 
self beneath the fire of the batteries ! * * * Death would 
have nothing to do with him !" 


In spite of the prodigious efforts of the French army, 
and the unchangeable heroism of its chief, the battle of 
Arcis could not hinder the passage of the Aube, by the 
Austrians. The Emperor retired in good order, on the 
2ist, after having done the enemy much harm, and 
held him in check for a whole day ; but Schwartzenberg 
ended by gaining the road which was to conduct him to 

Napoleon now decided on throwing himself upon 
the rear of the Allies. They were for some time quite 
uncertain of his movements after he quitted Rheims, 
until an intercepted letter to Marie lyouise informed them 
that he was at St. Dizier, where Napoleon had slept on the 
23d. He continued to manoeuvre on the country beyond 
this point for several days. Having seized the roads by 
which the Allies had advanced, he took many prisoners 
of distinction on their way to headquarters and at one 
time the Emperor of Austria himself escaped narrowly 
a party of French hussars. At St. Dizier, Caulaincourt 
rejoined the Emperor and announced to him the definite 
rupture of the negotiations with the Allies. This, how- 
ever, was no surprise; but was expected. The only real 
discomfiture it caused was among the malcontents in the 
army, whose chief regret was at being from Paris, 
and who asked each other, barely out of hearing of the 
Emperor, ' ' Where are we going ? What is to become of 
us ? If he falls, shall we fall with him ? ' ' 

On the 26th of March the distant roaring of artillery 
was heard at intervals on the boulevards of Paris and the 
alarm began to be violent. On Sunday the 27th, Joseph 
Bonaparte held a review in the Place Carrousel. That 


same evening the allies passed the Marne at various points 
and at 3 o'clock in the morning they took Meaux. The 
regular troops now marched out of the capital, leaving all 
the barriers in charge of the National Guard. On the 
29th the Empress, her son, and most of the members of 
the Council of State, set off attended by 700 soldiers, for 
Rambouillet from which they continued their journey to 
Blois. Queen Hortense, afflicted at seeing the Empress- 
Regent and her son abandon the capital to intriguers and 
conspirators, strongly pressed her to remain, and said with 
a prophetic conviction : "If you leave the Tuileries, you 
will never see them again ! " 

" One of the most astonishing circumstances of the 
moment," says Pons de ly' Herault, a historian of the 
period, "is undeniably, the obstinacy with which the King 
of Rome refused to depart. This obstinacy was so great, 
that it became necessary to use violence in order to remove 
the young prince. The cries of the infant-king were 
heart-rending. He repeated several times : ' My father 
told me not to go away ! ' All the spectators shed tears. ' ' 
The young prince had declared again and again that ' ' his 
papa was betrayed ' ' and his declaration has never been 
satisfactorily accounted for and can only be explained by 
the supposition that he had heard the subject discussed 
among those who considered that all was lost in aban- 
doning the capital. 

Joseph now published the following proclamation : 
" Citizens of Paris ! A hostile column has descended on 
Meaux. It advances ; but the Emperor follows close 
behind, at the head of a victorious army. The Council 
of Regency has provided for the safety of the Empress and 
the King of Rome. I remain with you. I^et us arm our- 


selves to defend this city, its monuments, its riches, our 
wives, our children — all that is dear to us. I^et this vast 
capital become a camp for some moments ; and let the 
enemy find his shame under the walls which he hopes to 
overleap in triumph. The Kmperor marches to our succor. 
Second Him by a short and vigorous resistance, and preserve 
the honor of France. ' ' 

The appeal did not produce the results hoped for. Some 
officers urged Savary to have the streets unpaved and 
persuade the people to arm themselves with stones and 
prepare for a defense such as Saragossa. He answered, 
shaking his head, " the thing cannot be done." 

On the 30th the Allies fought and won the final battle. 
The French occupied the whole of the range of heights 
from the Marne at Charenton, to the Seine beyond 
St. Denis ; the Austrians beginning the attack about 1 1 
o'clock towards the former of these points, while nearly 
in the midst between them, a charge was made by the 
Russians on Pantin and Belleville. The French troops of 
the line were commanded by Marmont and Mortier ; those 
battalions of the National Guard, whose spirit could be 
trusted, and who were adequately armed, took their orders 
from Marshal Moncey and formed a second line of defense. 
The scholars of the Polytechnic School volunteered to 
serve at the great guns, and the artillery though weak in 
numbers, was well arranged. At the barrier of Clichy, in 
particular, the Allies met with a spirited resistance. The 
pattern of the French soldiers, the brave Moncey, was 
there, with his son, and with him AUent, the leader of 
his staff ; celebrated artists and distinguished writers 
surrounded him and shared his perils. Among the former 
was Horace Vernet whose Napoleonic pictures have since 


become famous in two continents. The defense of the 
city, while brave and determined was ineffectual, and 
courage was at length compelled to yield to numbers. 

By 2 o'clock the Allies were victorious at all points 
except Montmartre. Marmont then sent several aides-de- 
camp to request an armistice and offer a capitulation in 
order to save the capital. The Czar and the King of 
Prussia professed their willingness to spare the city, pro- 
vided the regular troops would evacuate it. 

Blucher meanwhile continued pressing on at Mont- 
martre and shortly after 4 o'clock, the victory being com- 
pleted in that direction, the French cannon were turned 
on the city and shot and shells began to spread destruction 
within its walls. The capitulation was drawn up at 5 
o'clock, close to the barrier St. Denis. 

It was not until the 27th that Napoleon distinctly 
ascertained the fact of both the allied armies having 
marched directly on Paris. He instantly resolved to hasten 
after them, in hopes of arriving on their rear ere they had 
mastered the heights of Montmartre, Arriving at Doule. 
vent on the 29th he received a message from I,avallette, 
his Post- Master General, who wrote: "The partisans 
of the Stranger are making head, aided by secret intrigues. 
The presence of the Emperor is indispensable — if he 
desires to prevent his capital from being delivered to the 
enemy. There is not a moment to be lost ! ' ' 

Urging his advance accordingly. Napoleon reached 
Troyes en the night of the 2gth, his men having marched 
fifteen leagues since daybreak. General Dejean, his aide- 
de-camp, rode on before him bound for Paris to announce 
to the Parisians that the Emperor flew to succor them. 


On the 30th Macdonald attempted to convince him that 
the fate of Paris must have been decided ere he could reach 
it, and advised him to march, without further delay, so as 
to form a conjunction with Augereau. "In that case," 
said the marshal, " we may unite and repose our troops, 
and yet give the enemy battle on a chosen field. If Provi- 
dence has decreed our last hour, we shall at least die with 
honor, instead of being dispersed, pillaged and slaugh- 
tered by Cossacks." 

The Emperor was unwilling to abide by the counsel of 
his marshal, but continued to advance ; finding the road 
beyond Troyes clear he threw himself into a postchaise 
and traveled on before his army at full speed. At 
Villeneuve L' Archereque he mounted on horseback and 
galloping without a pause, reached Fontainebleau late at 
night. Here he ordered a carriage, and taking Caulain- 
court and Berthier, drove on towards Paris. He was still 
of the belief that he was yet in time — until, while he was 
changing horses at an inn called ' ' La Cour de France ' ' , 
but a few miles from Paris, General Belliard came up, at 
the head of a weary column of cavalry marching towards 
Fontainebleau, in consequence of the provisions of Mar- 
mont's treaty with the Allies. He was too late ! Paris 
had capitulated ! 

lycaping from his carriage as the words reached his 
ears, the Emperor exclaimed, "What means this? Why 
here with your cavalry, Belliard ? And where are the 
enemy ? Where are my wife and boy ? Where Mar- 
mont ? Where Mortier ? ' ' 

Belliard, walking by his side, told him of the events of 
the day. Still the Emperor insisted on continuing his 
journey although again informed there was no longer an 


army in Paris ; that the regulars were all coming behind, 
and that neither they nor he himself, having left the city 
in consequence of a convention, could possibly return to 
it. It seemed impossible for him to comprehend the 
astounding intelligence of Belliard who said; "Paris is sur- 
rounded by one hundred and thirty thousand enemies." 

Napoleon bade Belliard turn with his cavalr}'- and follow 
him. "Come' ' said he ' 'we must return to Paris, — nothing 
goes aright when I am away— they do nothing but blun- 
der!" As he progressed he continued, " You should have 
held out longer — you should have raised Paris — they can- 
not like the Cossacks — they would surely have defended 
their walls. Go ! Go ! I see everyone has lost his senses. 
This comes of employing fools and cowards. ' ' 

The Kmperor and Belliard continued Paris- ward, until 
they were met, a mile beyond the post-house, by the first 
column of the retreating infantry. Their commander, 
General Curial, reiterated what Belliard had said. "In 
proceeding to Paris," he said, " you rush on to death or 
captivity. ' ' The Emperor then became at once perfectly 
composed and abandoned his design, gave orders that the 
troops, as they arrived, should draw up behind the little 
river Essonne, and dispatched Caulaincourt to Paris to 
ascertain if it were yet possible for him to interpose in the 
treaty. Having taken this measure he turned back 
towards Kontainebleau. 

Caulaincourt reached the Czar's quarters at Pan tin 
early in the morning of the 31st of March where he found 
a deputation from the municipality of Paris waiting to 
present the keys of the city and invoke the protection of 
the conqueror. The Czar received them immediately on 
arriving and promised that the capital, and all within it, 
should be treated with perfect consideration. 


Caulaincourt then found his way to Alexander ; but he 
was dismissed immediately. The Allies had practically 
agreed in favoring the restoration of the Bourbons, ere 
any part of their forces entered the capital, and a procla- 
mation signed, "Scliwartzenberg, Commander of the Chief 
of the Allied Armies' ' was distributed throughout Paris 
in which there were many phrases not to be reconciled 
with any other position. The royalists welcomed with 
exultation the dawn of the 3 ist and issued proclamations of 
their own appealing for restoration, besides parading the 
streets without interruption from either the civil author- 
ities or of the National Guard, although decorated with 
the symbols of their cause. 

At noon the first of the Allied troops began to pass the 
barrier and enter the city, and the triumphal procession 
lasted for several hours. Fifty thousand troops, horse, 
foot and artillery, marched along the boulevards and in 
their midst appeared the youthful Czar and the King of 
Prussia, followed by a dazzling suite of princes, ambas- 
sadors and generals. 

The Czar repaired to the hotel of Talleyrand where a 
council was convened. Alexander and Frederick were 
urged to re-establish the House of Bourbon. They hesi- 
tated : " It is but a few days ago ' ' said the Czar, ' ' since 
a column of five or six thousand troops suffered them- 
selves 'to be cut in pieces before my eyes, when a single 
cry of ' Vive le Roi! ' would have saved them. ' ' One of those 
present answered ' ' Such things will go on as long as you 
continue to treat with Bonaparte even although at this 
moment he has a halter round his neck." The Czar did 
not understand this allusion until it was explained to him 
that the Parisians were busy pulling down Napoleon's 


statue from the top of the great pillar in the Place 

Alexander now signed a proclamation asserting the 
resolution of the Allies ' ' to treat no more with Napoleon 
Bonaparte, or any of his family." That same evening 
the Czar, by his minister, declared that " L<ouis XVIII 
will immediately ascend the throne." A few days later 
myriads of hands were busy in every corner of the city 
pulling down the statues and pictures and effacing the 
arms of Napoleon. 

Caulaincourt returned to Fontainebleau in the night 
between the 2d and 3d of April and informed Napoleon 
that the monarchs he had so often spared, and whose 
royal destinies he could have closed after Austerlitz, 
Jena, and Wagram, refused to treat with him, — and 
demanded his abdication. He added that the Allies had 
not yet, in his opinion, made up their minds to resist the 
scheme of a regency, but that he was commissioned to 
say that nothing could be arranged as to ulterior questions, 
until he, the Emperor, had formally abdicated. 

Napoleon was not yet prepared to give up his 
throne ; the news both irritated him and made him indig- 
nant. He again wished to try the lot of arms ; but his old 
companions-in-arms declared they would take no further 
part in the war. The next day, the 4th of April, he 
reviewed some of his troops, addressed them on "the 
treasonable proceedings in the capital," and announced 
his intention of instantl)' marching thither, being answered 
by shouts of " Paris ! Paris ! " Nearly 50,000 men were 
now stationed around Fontainebleau. On parade, Napoleon 
looked pale and thoughtful, while his convulsive motions 
manifested his internal struggles, and he did not stop many 


minutes. On retiring to the chateau, after the review, the 
Emperor was followed by his marshals, who informed him 
that if he refused to negotiate on the basis of his personal 
abdication, and persisted in risking an attack on Paris, 
they would not accompany him. He paused for a moment 
in silence — then a long debate ensued, ending in his draw- 
ing up and signing the following : The Allied Powers 
having proclaimed that the Emperor Napoleon was the sole 
obstacle to the re-establishment of peace m Europe, he, faith- 
ful to his oath, declares that he is ready to descend from the 
throne, to quit F7 ance , and even to relinquish life, for the 
good of his country ; which is inseparable from the rights of 
his Son, from those of the Regency in the person of the 
Empress, and from the maintenance of the laws of the 

Done at ow Palace of Fontainebleau, April the 4th, 18 14. 


Caulaincourt was appointed to bear this document to 
Paris and the marshals proposed that Ney should accom- 
pany him. It was suggested that Marmont should also 
form a part of the deputation but he being in command 
at Bssonne, Macdonald was named in his stead. The 
officers now desired to know on what stipulations, as 
concerned the Emperor personally, they were to insist. 
" On none, ' ' he answered ; ' ' obtain the best terms you can 
for France — for myself I ask nothing." They then 

Shortly afterwards Napoleon asked Oudinot if the 
troops would follow him. "No, Sire" answered the 
marshal, " you have abdicated." 

* ' Yes, upon certain conditions. ' ' 


' ' The soldiers ' ' resumed Oudinot, ' ' do not comprehend 
the difference ; they think you have no more any right to 
command them." 

"Well then," said Napoleon, "it is no more to be 
thought of ; let us wait for accounts from Paris. ' ' 

Marmont, whom he had loaded with favors, had in the 
meantime joined the Allies, and by a nocturnal march of 
his arni}^ passed over into the midst of the enemy, 
enabling them to appear more exacting than ever, and 
which caused Napoleon to denounce his treason to the 
army by an order of the day in which he scanned the 
conduct of the Senate who had also, on April 2d, declared 
Napoleon Bonaparte and his family expelled from the 
throne of France. " Marshal Marmont' s desertion was a 
mortal blow to the Imperial cause," says Meneval. " It 
decided the Emperor Alexander, who till then had 
appeared to'hesitate on the question of a regencj^ to exact 
in the name of the Allied Powers, the unconditional abdi- 
cation of the Emperor." Talleyrand said dryly, when 
someone called Marmont a traitor, ' ' his watch only went 
a little faster than the others, ' ' and in this he spoke truth- 
fully, for officers of all ranks now rapidly abandoned the 
camp at Fontainebleau, and presented themselves to swear 
allegiance to the new government, impatient to enjoy in 
peace the honors and riches with which Napoleon had 
loaded them. 

Caulaincourt Ney and Macdonald, on being admitted to 
the presence of the Czar, the act of abdication was pro- 
duced. Alexander was surprised that it should have 
contained no stipulations for Napoleon personally ; ' ' but 
I have been hi& friend ' ' said he ' ' and I will willingly be 
his advocate. I propose that he shall retain his imperial 
title, wi4;h the sovereignty of Elba, or some other island." 


When Napoleon's envoys retired from the presence of 
the Czar it still remained doubtful whether the abdication 
would be accepted in its present form, or the Allies would 
insist on an unconditional surrender. At length they 
signified their intention to accept of nothing but an 
unconditional abdication. These terms were finally borne 
by the marshals to their waiting chief. The marshals 
returned in the night about twelve. Ney entered first: 
"Well, have you succeeded? ", said Napoleon. 

' ' Revolutions do not retrograde, ' ' answered the veteran 
marshal, "this has begun its course ; it was too late: 
tomorrow the Senate will recognize the Bourbons. ' ' 

' ' Where shall I be able to live with my family ? ' ' 

" Where your Majesty pleases ; for example, in the isle 
of Elba, with a revenue of six millions. ' ' 

" Six millions ! that is a great deal for a soldier as I am. 
I see very well I must submit. ' ' 

The form of abdication submitted by the marshals was 
to the following purport: 

ist. The imperial title to be preserved by Napoleon, 
with the free sovereignty of Elba, guards, and a navy 
suitable to the extent of that island; a pension, from 
France, of six millions of francs annually. 

2d. The Duchies of Parma, Placentia and Guastalla 
to be granted in sovereignty to Marie lyouise and her 
heirs, and 

3d. Two millions and a half of francs annually to be 
paid, by the French government, in pensions to Josephine 
and other members of the Bonaparte family. 

Napoleon hesitated when he received the formal ulti- 
matum of the invading powers. He thought seriously of 
continuing the war, but the group of his personal fol- 
lowers had been rapidly thinned by desertion. 


Oil the nth of April he at length abandoned all hope 
and the next day executed an instrument called the treaty 
of Fontainebleau formally ' ' renouncing for himself and 
his heirs, the thrones of France and Italy." Concerning 
the act Napoleon said, "I blush for it; what avails 
a treaty, since they will not settle the interests of France 
with me. If only my personal interests are concerned, 
there is no need of a treaty. I am conquered ; I yield to 
the fate of arms. All I ask is, not to be accounted a 
prisoner of war," To all suggestions referring to his 
providing for his future wants he replied, ' ' What matters 
it ? A horse and a crown a day are all I want ! ' ' 

"Napoleon, when he affixed his name to the abdica- 
tion " says Baron Fain, his secretary, " made two or three 
scratches, and a dent, with the stump of his pen, or back 
of a knife, on the little, round, claw-footed, yellow table, 
on which it was signed. After the resignation of the 
Empire, he spent his time either in conversation in his 
apartment, or in a small English garden at the back of the 
palace. * * * Napoleon, during those days of distress, 
was seated alone for hours and amused himself by 
kicking a hole, a foot deep, with his heel, in the gravel 
beneath. * * * At the moment of Bonaparte's abdica- 
tion, he remarked that instruments of destruction had 
been left in his way ; he seemed to think that they were 
placed there purposely, in order that he might attempt his 
own life ; and with a sardonic smile, said, * Self-murder 
is sometimes committed for love — what folly ! Sometimes 
for the loss of fortune — there it is cowardice ! Another 
cannot live after he has been disgraced — what weakness ! 
But to survive the loss of Empire, to be exposed to the 
results of one's contemporaries, -that is true courage ! ' " 


The armies of the AlHes had gradually pushed forward 
from Paris and now nearly surrounded Fontainebleau. 
When the last of the marshals had quitted Napoleon's 
presence for the night, after imperiously demanding his 
resignation, he revolted at the humiliations he had to 
undergo and disgusted at their cowardice, exclaimed: 
' ' These men have neither hearts nor entrails. I am 
conquered less by fortune than by the selfishness and 
ingratitude of my brothers-in-arms ! " The same night, 
in a fit of despair he swallowed a weak poison contained 
in a bag that he had worn around his neck since 1808. 
The palace was aroused by his cries and Dr. Yvan hastily 
summoned by his valet. An antidote was given him and 
his life saved. To Caulaincourt he said an hour later: 
' ' God would not allow it. I could not die. Why did they 
not let me die? It is not the loss of my throne that 
makes existence insupportable to me. My military 
career is enough glory for one man. Do you know what 
is more difficult to bear than reverses of fortune ? It is 
the baseness, the horrible ingratitude of men. I turned 
my head away with horror from the sight of their mean- 
ness and their contemptible selfishness, and I am disgusted 
with life. What I have suffered during the last three 
weeks, no one can tell. ' ' 

Some months later, while at Elba, Napoleon ascribed 
his ruin entirely to Marmont, to whom he had confided 
some of his best troops, and a post of the greatest impor- 



tance, as a person on whose devotion to him he could most 
depend. " For how could I expect to be betrayed," he 
said, " by a man whom I had loaded with kindness from 
the time he was fifteen years of age ? Had he stood firm, 
I could have driven the Allies out of Paris, and the 
people there, — as well as throughout France. — would have 
risen, in spite of the Senate, if they had haa a few troops 
to support them." 

The Emperor remained long enough at Fontainebleau 
to hear of the restoration of the Bourbon Monarchy, and 
on the 2oth of April, the commissioners of the Allied 
Sovereigns having arrived, he once more called his loyal 
officers about him and signified that they were summoned 
to receive his last adieu. A few of the marshals and 
others who had sworn fealty to the new monarch were also 
present. "lyouis, (the King) , Napoleon said, ' ' has talents 
and means : he is old and infirm ; and will not, I think, 
choose to give a bad name to his reign. If he is wise, 
he will occupy my bed, and only change the sheets. He 
must treat the army well, and take care not to look back 
on the past, or his time will be brief. For you, gentle- 
men, I am no longer to be with you ; — you have another 
government; and it will become you to attach yourselves to 
it frankly, and serve it faithfully as you have served me." 

As he passed along he beheld all that now remained of 
the most brilliant and numerous courts in Kurope, reduced 
to about sixteen individuals, who thus waited to manifest 
their regard and respect for the fallen Emperor. Junot, 
had died the year before, and Caulaincourt and General 
Flahault were absent on missions. Napoleon shook 
hands with them all ; then hastily passing the range of 
carriages, he advanced towards the relics of the Imperial 

'v,^ \ Z 


Guard which he had desired to be drawn up in the court- 
yard of the castle. He advanced to them on horseback 
and tears dropped from his eyes as he dismounted in 
their midst. "Soldiers of the Old Guard," said he, 
"I bid you farewell! During twenty years you have 
been my constant companions in the path of honor and 
glory. In our last disasters, as well as in the days 
of our prosperity, you invariably proved yourselves 
models of courage and fidelity. With such men as you, 
our cause could not have been lost ; but a protracted 
civil war would have ensued, and the miseries of France 
would thereby have been augmented. I have, therefore, 
sacrificed all our interests to those of the country. I depart : 
you, my friends, will continue to serve France, whose 
happiness has ever been the only object of my thoughts, 
and still will be the sole object of my wishes. Do not 
deplore my fate. If I consent to live, it is that I may 
still contribute to your glory. I will record the great 
achievements we have performed together. Farewell, my 
comrades ! I should wish to press you all to my bosom. 
Let me at least embrace your standard." 

At these words, General Petit took the eagle and came 
forward. Napoleon received the general in his arms, and 
kissed the flag. The silence of this affecting scene was 
only interrupted by the occasional sobs of the soldiers. 
Having kissed the flag. Napoleon said with great emotion, 
' * Farewell once more my old comrades ! Let this kiss be 
impressed on all your hearts !" 

On this occasion the English commissioner who stood 
near him, and had previously been his inveterate enemy, 
was so deeply moved that he was affected in the same 
degree as Napoleon's attendants. When leaving Napoleon 



called for Rustaii, his Mameluke servant, but the latter had 
concealed himself, though on the preceding day he had 
received from his master, at Fontainebleau, a present of 
30,000 francs to provide for his wife and family during his 
absence. The Emperor, in speaking afterwards of this 
man who nightly slept across his doorway, said, " I am 
by no means astonished at his conduct, as he was imbued 
with the sentiments of a slave ; and, finding me no longer 
master, he imagined his services might be dispensed 

Napoleon now hurried through the group that sur- 
rounded him — stepped into his carriage, and instantly 
drove off. The carriages took the road to I^yons. 

Four commissioners, one each from the great Allied 
Powers, Austria, Russia, Prussia and England, accom- 
panied him on his journey. He was attended by the 
ever faithful Bertrand, Grand Master of the Palace, and 
some other attached friends and servants. While four- 
teen carriages were conveying him and his immediate 
suite towards Elba, 700 infantry and about 150 cavalry of 
the Imperial Guard, — all picked men and volunteers, — 
marched in the same direction to take on them the 
military duties of the exiled court. 

Not far from I^yons Napoleon met Augereau, general- 
in-chief of the Army of the East, whose conduct during 
the late campaign had been that of a traitor. When 
Augereau had taken his leave from his ex-chief one of 
the commissioners ventured to express surprise that 
Napoleon should have treated him with such a show of 
affection. ' ' Why should I not ?" he asked. 

"Your Majesty is perhaps unacquainted with his con- 
duct. Sire, he entered into an understanding with us 
several weeks ago!" 


The Kmperor afterwards confirmed this anecdote, 
adding : ' ' The conqueror of Castiglione might have left 
behind him a name dear to his country ; but France will 
execrate the memory of the traitor of I^yons." 

During the early part of his progress the Exile was 
received respectfully by the civil functionaries of the 
different towns and departments, and many tokens of 
sympathy on the part of the people were expressed. As 
he increased the distance between himself and his capital, 
and was carried into provinces wherein his name had 
never been extremely popular, he was once or twice sub- 
jected to personal insult, and danger of violence, when the 
horses were changing. At Lyons, an old woman in mourn- 
ing, and with a countenance full of enthusiasm, rushed 
forward to the door of the carriage. ' ' Sire ' ' said she, 
with an air of solemnity, ' ' may the blessing of heaven 
attend your endeavor to make yourself happy. They 
tear you from us ; but our hearts are with you, whereso- 
ever you go. ' ' 

The Austrian commissioner, quite disconcerted, said to 
his companion, " Let us go ; I have no patience with this 
mad woman !" 

At length Napoleon disguised himself and sometimes 
appearing in an Austrian uniform, at others riding on 
before the carriages in the garb of a courier, reached in 
safety the place of embarkation. A French vessel had 
been sent round from Toulon to Cannes, for the purpose 
of conveying him to Elba ; but there happened to be an 
English frigate also in the roads and he preferred sailing 
under any flag rather than the Bourbon. The voyage to 
Elba was uneventful. Napoleon succeeded in making a 
favorable impression on the English crew and when, on 


finally leaving the ' 'Undaunted, ' ' he caused some two hun- 
dred napoleons ($800) to be distributed among the sailors, 
the boatswain undertook to return thanks in the name of 
the crew by ' * wishing him a long X\iQ.—and better luck next 
time!' ' As he left the vessel a royal salute was fired. 

The Kmperor of the little island of Elba came in view 
of his new dominions on the afternoon of May 4th, 18 14, 
and went ashore in disguise the same evening, in order to 
ascertain for himself whether the feelings of the Klbans 
were favorable or otherwise. He found the people con- 
sidered his residence as likely to increase in every way the 
importance and prosperity of their island, and returned on 
board the ship ; at noon the day following he made his 
public entry into the town of Porto-Ferrajo amidst many 
popular demonstrations of welcome and respect. The 
English and Austrian commissioners landed with him, 
those from Russia and Prussia having departed at the 
coast of Provence. When the Exile climbed to the hill 
above Ferrajo, and looked down upon the whole of his 
territory, as upon a map, he remarked to Sir Neil Camp- 
bell, the English commissioner, " It must be confessed 
that my island is very small." 

The island, however, mountainous and rocky, for the 
most part barren, and of a circumference not ex- 
exceeding sixty miles, was his. He forthwith de- 
voted to it the same anxious care and industry that 
had sufficed for the whole affairs of France, and a large 
portion of Europe besides. In less than three weeks 
he had thorougly acquainted himself with its history, 
resources and the character of its people, had explored 
every corner of the island "and projected more improve- 
ments of all sorts" according to one historian, "than 


would have occupied a life-time to complete." He even 
extended his ' ' Empire ' ' by sending some soldiers to take 
possession of a small adjacent islet, hitherto unoccupied 
for fear of Corsairs. He established residences in four 
different corners of Elba and was continually in motion 
from one to the other. All the etiquette of the 
Tuilerieswas adhered to as far as possible, and Napoleon's 
eight or nine hundred veterans were reviewed as frequently 
and formally as if they had been the army of Austerlitz 
or Friedland, and over which hung the flag of Elba 
which the Emperor had adopted, and which was that of 
the island, — white, striped with purple and studded with 
stars. Sometime later he adopted a new flag as King of 
Elba ; silver with a red band, the latter having bees of 
gold on it. The Emperor wore the uniform of the 
Colonel of the Horse Chasseurs of the Guard. He had 
substituted on his chapeau the red and white cockade of 
the island for the tri-colored cockade. His presence gave 
a new stimulus to the trade and industry of the island 
and the port of Ferrajo was crowded with vessels from 
the opposite coast of Italy. 

Napoleon received no money whatever from the 
Bourbon court, his pension having been entirely forgotten 
by his successors at the capital. His complaints on this 
head were not even considered, and the exchequer of the 
Exile being rapidly depleted by his generous expenditures, 
he soon became in need of many necessities. These new 
troubles imbittered the spirit of the fallen Chief and but 
for the course of events at Paris, of which he was kept 
fully advised, would have become overpowered by a list- 
lessness which at one time affected him seriously. 


While on the island the Emperor observed that his new 
flag had become the first in the Mediterranean. It was 
held sacred, he said, by the Algerians, who usually made 
presents to the Elban captains, telling them they were 
paying the debt of Moscow. Some Algerian ships once 
anchoring off the island, great alarm was caused among 
the inhabitants, who questioned the pirates, and asked 
them plainly whether they came with any hostile views. 
"Against the Great Napoleon;" they replied, "Oh! 
never; we do not wage war on God !" 

I^ouis XVIII. had made his public entry into Paris on 
the 2 1 St of April. He was advanced in years, gross and 
infirm in person, yet he was, perhaps, less unpopular than 
the rest of his family ; but it was his fatal misfortune to 
continue to increase day by day the bitterness of those who 
had never been sincerely his friends. The King had been 
called to the throne by the French Senate in a decree 
which provided that he should preserve the political 
system ' ' which Napoleon had violated ' ' , and which 
declared the legislative constitution as composed of a 
hereditary sovereign and two houses of assembly ; to be 
fixed and unchangeable. lyouis, however, though he 
proceeded to France on this invitation, did not hesitate to 
date his first act in the twentieth year of his reign. The 
Senate saw in such assumptions the traces of those old 
doctrines of ' ' the divine right of kings, ' ' of which I^ouis 
was a shining example, and which they, who though 
not originally of his party, had consented to his recall — 
although they had through life abhorred and combatted 
such principles ; and they asked themselves, why, if all 
their privileges were but the gifts of theKing, they might 
not, on any tempting opportunity, be withdrawn by the 


same authority. They, whose titles had all been -won 
since the death of L^ouis XVI. , were startled when they 
found, that, according to the royal doctrine, there had 
been no legitimate government all that time in France! 

The first tumult of the Restoration being over, and the 
troops of the Allies withdrawn, things began to so shape 
themselves that there were many elements of discontent 
amongst all classes, one of the most powerful of which 
was in the army itself. The Allies had restored, without 
stipulation, the whole of the prisoners who had fallen 
into their hands during the war. At least 150,000 veteran 
soldiers, all of whom had fought under Napoleon on 
many battlefields, were thus poured into France ere lyouis 
was well seated on the throne ; men, too, who had 
witnessed nothing of the last disastrous campaigns ; who 
had sustained themselves in their e:jiile by recounting their 
earlier victories ; and who now, returning fresh and 
vigorous to their native soil, had but one answer to every 
tale of misfortune which met them : " These things 
could never have happened had we been here ! ' ' 

The Empress Marie was at Blois at the time Napoleon 
signed his abdication, and Savary has described her grief as 
very great, but her own reverses were sufiiciently severe to 
account for this, without any strong feeling for Napoleon. 
By direction of Napoleon she applied for protection to the 
Emperor of Austria and went to Rambouillet to meet him, 
where he explained to her that she was to be separated 
from her husband " for a time. ' ' The Emperor Alexander 
visited her also, very much against her will, and a few 
days afterwards she departed for Vienna. Alexander 
also visited Josephine, and found her distress at Napoleon's 
abdication very great. She appears never to have recovered 


from the shock for she survived it only about six weeks. 
She died on the 29th of May, 1814, at Malmaison, and was 
buried in the church of Ruel. Her funeral was attended 
by several generals of the allied armies, and marshals and 
generals of France. The body was^ afterwards placed in 
a magnificent tomb of white marble, erected by her two 
children, and bearing the simple inscription : "Eugene 
and Hortense to Josephine. ' ' 

Napoleon's mother, and sister Pauline, as well as a 
number of ancient and attached servants of his civil 
government and his army, visited him during the 
summer of 18 14. Not the least of these was Pauline, 
who made repeated voyages to Italy, and returned again 
as mysteriously. In the circles of Ferrajo new and busy 
faces now appeared and disappeared — no one knew whence 
they had come or whither they went and an air of bustle 
and mystery pervaded the atmosphere of the place. The 
Emperor continued to review his handful of veteran 
soldiers with as much pride as if they had been the 
innumerable hosts he had led to victory on the Continent, 
and seemed to be fairly well contented with his situation 
notwithstanding he had fallen from an eminence that had 
been reached by no other man in modern times. The 
only notable change observed in his habits was that he 
became grave, and reserved, and seemed no longer to take 
any interest in the improvements he had effected on the 

It was evident, however, that something was preparing ; 
but the commissioners who watched over Napoleon were 
unable to fathom it. They repeatedly remarked C4i the 
absurdity of the Allied Powers in withholding his pension, 
which they had solemnly pledged should be paid every 


quarter, thereby tempting him to release himself; but 
their reports were left unnoticed by those in whose hands 
they fell. This obliged the Emperor to sell every luxury 
and comfort around him to raise the means of paying 
his current expenses. Then it was that he began to 
forecast the future and to contemplate a bold stroke, not 
only for liberty, but to regain his lost throne before he 
could be transported to St. Helena which he had been 
informed privately was being discussed at Vienna. 

In this he was aided by a nation which was far from 
satisfied with the man whose possession of the royal 
sceptre had only been made possible by the force of 
foreign armies, and it was apparent to nearly everyone 
that lyouis XVIII. could not long rule France tranquilly, 
even though Napoleon did not return. 

Kre autumn closed Napoleon granted furloughs on var- 
ious pretexts to about two hundred of his Guard, and these 
at once scattered themselves over France singing his 
praises. It now began to be whispered that the Exile would 
return to the soil of France in the spring of the coming year. 
Among the soldiery and elsewhere he was toasted under 
the sobriquet of ' ' Corporal Violet, ' ' a flower or a ribbon 
of its color being the symbol of rebellion, and worn openly 
in the sight of the unsuspecting Bourbons. It was by this 
secret symbol that Napoleon's friends knew each other. 
Rings of a violet color with the device, ' ' It will re-appear 
in the spring, ' ' became fashionable ; women wore violet- 
colored silks and the men displayed watch-strings of the 
same color ; while the mutual question when these friends 
met was generally, "Are you fond of the violet?" to 
which the answer of a confederate was, " Ah ! well." 


The representatives of all the Kuropean princes had 
met in Vienna to settle finally a number of questions left 
undecided at the termination of the war, including a 
division of the ' 'spoils. ' ' Talleyrand was there for France, 
Wellington for England, Metternich for Austria. On the 
nth of March these representatives, who were then 
discussing among other things "how to get rid of the 
Man of Elba, ' ' were thrown into a panic by the news that 
Napoleon Bonaparte had reared his standard once more 
in France and was marching on Paris ! 

Of the state of affairs in France Napoleon had been 
fully advised as well as of the sessions of the ministers at 
the Congress of Vienna, who had suggested that, as the 
French government would not honestly pay his pension, 
he should be taken to some place of greater safety, and 
St. Helena was even mentioned at this time. This 
determined Napoleon to act, especially as he was fully 
convinced that he had a good chance of being well 
received by the twenty or thirty millions of people who 
were being treated with contempt by Ivouis XVIII. and 
his followers. The arrival also of M. Fleury de Chaboulon, 
with secret messages from Maret, (Duke of Bassano) then 
at Paris, had much to do with the hasty determination of 
Napoleon to quit Elba at the earliest moment possible. 
Reserved as the Exile was with others he told his mother 
of his plans. ' ' I cannot die on this island, ' ' he said to 
her, ' 'and terminate my career in a repose unworthy of 
me. Besides, want of money would soon leave me here 
alone, exposed to the attack of my enemies. ' ' His mother 
reflected for some time in silence and then replied, ' ' Go, 
my son — go and fulfill your destiny ! You will fail 
perhaps, and your failure will soon be followed by your 


death. But I see with sorrow that you cannot remain 
here ; let us hope that God, who has protected you amid 
so many battles, will save j^ou once more !" 

Bertrand, who was sharing Napoleon's exile, was now 
informed of the Emperor's decision as was also Druot 
who at once commenced secret preparations for the 
approaching expedition. Eleven hundred soldiers were 
collected of whom 800 belonged to the Guard and 300 
to the 35th light infantry that Napoleon had found in 
the island. None of these men had any idea of the 
projected enterprise. Colonel Campbell, who was watching 
proceedings in Elba for the English, had left Ferrajo 
and gone to Eeghorn. There remained then only the 
cruisers that were easily deceived or avoided. In order 
to keep his preparations a profound secret, Napoleon, 
two days before embarking, laid an embargo on the 
vessels in the harbors of Elba, and cut off all communication 
with the sea. He then ordered his ordnance oflicer, 
Vantini, to seize one of the large vessels lying in the port, 
which, with the " Inconstant" of twenty-six cannon, 
and six other smaller craft, making in all seven vessels, he 
secured the means of embarking his eleven hundred men 
and four pieces of field artillery. He had decided to 
commence his romantic enterprise on the 26th of February, 
18 1 5. On this day he allowed his soldiers to remain at 
their usual employment until the middle of the day. 
They were suddenly summoned in the afternoon and after 
being lightly fed, were assembled with arms and baggage 
on the pier where they were informed that they were to 
go on board the vessels. The inhabitants of the island 
regretted the Exile's departure as they feared its prosperity 
would go with him. Napoleon's staff and about three 


hundred men embarked on board the "Inconstant," the 
others being distributed in the other vessels of the flotilla. 

The discharge of a single cannon at about 7 o'clock in 
the evening was the signal agreed upon for weighing 
anchor, and when the sails were unfurled, and the little 
fleet steered its course, reiterated cries of "Paris or 
death!" were heard from the exultant troops. The 
Emperor had said to them, " Grenadiers ! we are going 
to France ; we must march to Paris !" 

The English commissioner immediately attempted to 
get Napoleon's mother and sister to betray his destination 
and being unsuccessful, at once pursued ; but was unable to 
overtake his charge. On the voyage a French ship-of- 
war crossed his path ; but the Emperor made all his 
soldiers and those persons who could be suspected descend 
under the deck, and the steersman of the " Inconstant," 
who happened to be well acquainted with the commanding 
officer, had received and answered the usual challenge 
without exciting any suspicion. In reply to the question 
of how they left the Emperor at Elba, Napoleon himself 
made answer by signal that, " He was very well." 

During the voyage he dictated two proclamations which 
were copied by almost all his soldiers and attendants who 
could write. These were to be duplicated on landing and 
distributed throughout France. 

The Emperor,having left Elba on the 26th of February, 
arrived off Cannes, near Frejus, on March ist, — the very 
spot he had touched when he arrived from Egypt, and 
from which he had embarked ten months before. 
He landed without opposition, and his handful of 
men, — 500 grenadiers of the Guard, 200 dragoons and 
100 Polish lancers, these last without horses and carrying 


their saddles on their backs, were reviewed and imme- 
diately began their march on Paris. He bivouacked 
that night in a plantation of olives, with all his men 
about him. As soon as the moon rose, the reveille 
sounded. A laborer who was going thus early to work 
in the fields recognized the Emperor's person, and uttering 
a cry of joy, said he had served in the Army of Italy and 
would join the ranks. ' ' Here is a reinforcement already !" 
said Napoleon to Bertrand, and after spending the balance 
of the evening in chatting familiarly with his Guard, the 
march towards Paris recommenced. 

Early in the morning they passed through the town of 
Grasse, and halted on the height beyond it. There the 
whole population of the place surrounded them, some 
cheering and many others maintaining perfect silence; 
but none offered any show of opposition. The peasants 
blessed his return ; but, on viewing his little band looked 
upon him with pity, and entertained no hope of his ultimate 
success. The roads were so bad that the pieces of cannon 
which they had with them were abandoned in the course 
of the day, but they marched full twenty leagues ere they 
halted for the night at Seranon. "Before arriving at this 
stopping place," says Thiers, "the Emperor stopped a few 
minutes in a hut, occupied by an old woman and some cows. 
Whilst he warmed himself before a brushwood fire he 
entered into conversation with the old country-woman, 
who little imagined what guests she entertained beneath 
her humble thatch, and was asked, ' What news from 
Paris?' She seemed surprised at a question to which 
she was little accustomed, and replied very naturally that 
she knew of none. ' You don't know what the King is 
doing tlien ?' said Napoleon. 


" 'The King?' answered the old woman, still more 
astonished, ' the King ! You mean the Kmperor — he is 
2\^N2.ys yonder.' " 

This dweller in the Alpine country was wholly ignorant 
that Napoleon had been hurled from his throne and 
replaced by Louis XVIII. All present were struck with 
astonishment at witnessing this extraordinary ignorance. 
Napoleon, who was not less surprised than the others, 
looked at Druot and said, "Well, Druot, of what use is 
it to disturb the world to fill it with one's name ?" 

On the 5th of March the Emperor reached Gap, where 
he published his first proclamations, — one to the army 
and another to the French people. The former said: 
"Soldiers ! We have not been conquered. Two men, 
raised from our ranks, (Marmont and Augereau) have 
betrayed our laurels, their country, their prince, their 
benefactor. In my exile I have heard your voice. I 
have arrived once more among you, despite all obstacles, 
and in all perils. We ought to forget that we have been 
the masters of the world ; but we ought never to suffer 
foreign interference in our affairs. Who dares pretend to 
be master over us ? Take again the eagles which you 
followed at Ulm, at Austerlitz, at Jena, at Kylau, at 
Friedland, atTudela, atKckmuhl, atEssling, at Smolensk, 
at Moskowa, at Lutzen, at Wurtchen, at Montmirail. 
Soldiers ! come and range yourselves under the banners 
of your old chief. Victory shall march at the charging 
step. The eagle, with the national colors, shall fly from 
steeple to steeple, till it reaches the towers of Notre Dame ! 
In your old age, surrounded and honored by your fellow- 
citizens, you shall be heard with respect when you recount 
your high deeds. You shall then say with pride, ' I also 


was one of that great army which entered twice within 
the walls of Vienna, which took Rome, and Berlin, and 
Madrid and Moscow, and which delivered Paris from the 
stain printed on it by domestic treason, and the occupa- 
tion of strangers. ' ' ' 

Between Mure and Vizele, Cambronne, who commanded 
Napoleon's advanced guard of forty grenadiers, met 
suddenly a battalion sent forward from Grenoble to arrest 
the march. The colonel refused to parley with Cambronne 
and either party halted until the Emperor came up. 
Napoleon did not hesitate for a moment but dismounted 
and advanced alone ; some paces behind him came about 
a hundred of his Guard, with their arms reversed. There 
was perfect silence on all sides until the returned Exile 
was within a few yards of the men. He then halted, threw 
open his surtout, so as to show the star of the Legion of 
Honor, and exclaimed, ' ' If there be among you a soldier 
who desires to kill his general — his Emperor — let him do 
it now. Here I am ! " 

The old cry of ' ' Vive 1' Empereur ! ' ' burst instantly 
from every lip. Napoleon threw himself among them, and 
taking a veteran private, covered with scars and medals, 
by his beard, said, "Speak honestly, old Moustache, 
couldst thou have had the heart to kill thy Emperor ? ' ' 

The old soldier dropped his ramrod into his piece to 
show that it was not loaded, and answered, " Judge if I 
could have done thee much harm — all the rest are the 
sameV The soldiers had now broken their ranks and 
were surrounding the Emperor, kissing his hands and 
calling him their general, their Emperor, their father. 
The commander of the 5th battalion, thus abandoned by 
his soldiers, knew not what to do, when Napoleon, freeing 


himself from the throng stepped forward, asked his name, 
his grade, his services and then added : " My friend, who 
made you chief of battalion?" " You, Sire," "Who made 
you captain?" "You, Sire," "And would you fire on 
me ?' ' ' Yes' ' replied the brave man, * ' in the performance 
of my duty." He then gave his sword to Napoleon, 
who took it, pressed his hand and in a voice that clearly 
indicated that the weapon would be restored at that point, 
said, " Meet me at Grenoble." Turning to Bertrand and 
Druot the Emperor then said: "All is decided: within ten 
days we shall be in the Tuileries ! " 

Napoleon now gave the word, and the old adherents 
and the new began the march together towards Grenoble. 
Ere they reached that town Colonel I^abedoyere, an 
officer of noble family, and who had been promoted by 
Eouis XVIII., appeared on the road before them at the 
head of his regiment, the seventh of the line. These 
men and the Emperor's little column, on coming within 
view of each other, rushed simultaneously from their 
ranks and embraced with mutual shouts of, ' ' I^ive Napo- 
leon ! Ivive the Guard ! I^ive the Seventh ! " 

I^abedoyere now produced an eagle, which he had kept 
concealed about his person, and broke open a drum which 
was found to be filled with tri-colored cockades. As these 
aiicient ensigns were exhibited by the first ofi&cer of 
superior rank who voluntarily espoused the side of the 
returned Exile, renewed enthusiasm was apparent on all 
sides. Napoleon then questioned young Eabedoyere 
concerning the state of Paris, and France in general. 
That gallant officer answered with much frankness: * 'Sire, 
the French will do everything for your Majesty ; but your 
Majesty must do everything in return for them ; no more 


ambition, no more despotism ; we are determined to be free 
'and happy. It is necessary, Sire, to renounce that system 
of conquest and power which occasioned the misfortune 
of France and yourself." 

Napoleon replied, ' ' I know that. I return to revive 
the glory of France, to establish the principles of the 
Revolution and to secure to the nation a degree of liberty 
which, though difficult at the commencement of my reign, 
is now become not only possible but necessary." 

This act of lyabedoyere was most decisive, for in spite 
of all the efforts of General Marchand, commandant at 
Grenoble, the whole of that garrison, when he approached 
the walls, shouted " Vive 1' Bmpereur !" Though wel- 
coming Napoleon with their voices and shaking hands 
with his followers through the wicket below, they would 
not so far disobey the governor as to throw open the gates. 
Neither could any argument prevail upon them to open 
fire on the advancing party and in the very teeth of all 
their batteries Napoleon calmly planted a howitzer or two 
and blew the gates open. Then, as if the spell of disci- 
pline was at once dissolved, the garrison broke from their 
lines and dragging the Kmperor from his horse, bore him 
aloft on their shoulders towards the principal inn of the 
place, amidst the clamors of enthusiastic and delirious 
joy. The inhabitants of Grenoble, being unable to 
bring him the keys of the city, brought him with accla- 
mations, the shattered gates instead, exclaiming : " For 
want of the keys of the good city of Grenoble, here are 
the gates for you!" Next morning he reviewed his 
troops, now amounting to about 7,000, and on the 9th 
recommenced his march. 



On the loth of March Napoleon came within sight of 
I^yons and was informed that Marshal Macdonald had 
arrived to take the command, had barricaded the bridge 
of Guillotierre, and posted himself at the head of a 
large force to dispute the entrance of the town. Nothing 
daunted with this intelligence, the column moved on, and 
at the bridge of I^yons, as at the gates of Grenoble, all 
opposition vanished when the person of the Emperor was 
recognized by the soldiery. Macdonald was forced to 
retire and Napoleon entered the second city of France in 
triumph. Macdonald would have been taken prisoner by 
his own troops, had not some of them, more honorable 
than the rest, insisted on his escape being unobstructed. 
He thereupon returned to Paris where he once more hoped 
to make a stand. 

A guard of mounted citizens who had been formed to 
attend on the person of Count d' Artois, the heir of 
the Empire, and who had accompanied Macdonald, were 
the foremost to offer their services to the Emperor after he 
reached the hotel ; but he rejected their assistance and 
dismissed them with contempt. Finding that one of their 
number had followed the Prince until his person was out 
of all danger, Napoleon immediately sent to that indi- 
vidual the cross of the I^egion of Honor. 

Meanwhile, during the week that the Emperor had 
continued his march Parisward without opposition, the 
newspapers of the capital were silent, and none ventured 
to make any allusion whatever to his successes. There 
then appeared a royal decree, proclaiming Napoleon 
Bonaparte "an outlaw," and convoking, on the instant, 
the two Chambers. Next day the * ' Moniteur ' ' announcf 4 


that, surrounded on all hands by faithful garrisons and a 
loyal population, this " outlaw and invader " was already 
stripped of most of his followers, was wandering in despair 
among the hills, and certain to be a prisoner within two 
or three days at the utmost! Louis received many 
addresses full of loyalty and devotion from the public 
bodies of Paris, from towns and departments, and, above 
all, from the marshals, generals and regiments who hap- 
pened to be near the capital. The partisans of Napoleon 
at Paris, however, were far more active than the roy- 
alists. They gave out everywhere that, as the procla- 
mation addressed ' ' To the French people ' ' from Gap had 
stated. Napoleon came back thoroughly cured of that 
ambition which had armed Europe against his throne ; 
that he considered his act of abdication void, because the 
Bourbons had not accepted the crown on the terms which 
it was offered, and had used their authority in a spirit, 
and for purposes at variance with the feelings and the 
interests of the French people ; that he was come to be no 
longer the dictator of a military despotism, but the first 
citizen of a nation which he had resolved to make the 
freest of the free ; that the royal government wished to 
extinguish by degrees all memory of the Revolution; that 
he was returning to consecrate once more the principles 
of liberty and equality, ever hateful to the eyes of the old 
nobility of France, and to secure the proprietors of for- 
feited estates against all machinations of that dominant 
faction; — in a word, that he was fully sensible of the extent 
of his past errors, both of domestic administration and of 
military ambition, and desirous of nothing but the oppor- 
tunity of devoting, to the true welfare of peaceful France, 
those unrivalled talents and energies which he had been 
rash enough to abuse in former days. 


Napoleon's friends declared, too, and with much show of 
authority, that the army was, high and low, on the side of 
the Emperor ; that every detachment sent to intercept 
. him would but swell his force so that nothing could pre- 
vent him from taking possession of the Tuileries ere a 
fortnight more had passed over the head of the Bourbon 

Napoleon remained at I^j^ons from the loth to the 
1 3th of March. Here he lormally 1 esumed the functions of 
civil government, published various decrees, one of which 
commanded that j ustice be administered everywhere in his 
name after the 15th, another abolishing the Chambers of 
the Peers and the Deputies and summoning- all the 
electoral colleges to meet in Paris to witness the corona- 
tion of Marie lyouise and her son, and settle definitively 
the constitution of the State ; a third, ordering into 
banishment all those whose names had not been erased 
from the list of emigrants prior to the abdication of 
Fontainebleau ; a fourth, depriving all strangers and 
emigrants of their commissions in the army ; a fifth, abol- 
ishing the order of St. lyouis, and bestowing all its reve- 
nues on the I^egion of Honor ; and a sixth restoring to 
their authority all magistrates who had been displaced by 
the Bourbon government. 

These publications soon reached Paris and caused much 
alarm among the adherents of the King, 

Marshal Ney now received orders from the Minister of 
War to take command of a large body of troops whose 
fidelity was considered sure, and who were about to be 
sent to Lons-le-Saunier,to intercept and arrest the return- 
ing Kxile before he could make further progress. Ney 
immediately rode to Paris from his retired country-seat 


;and there, for the first time, learned of the disembarkation 
of Napoleon from Klba. He is even said to have declared 
that he would bring his former chief to Paris in a cage, 
like a wild beast, in the course of a week. On reaching 
lyOns-le-Saunier he received a letter from Napoleon 
reminding him of their former campaigns and summoning 
him to join his standard as the " bravest of the brave." 
Ney had a secret interview with a courier who brought 
this letter, with one from Bertrand. Generals I^ecourbe 
and Bourmont, by whom the marshal was attended, advised 
him not to oppose a torrent which was too powerful for 
any resistance he could bring against it. While in this 
state of doubt and indecision, sorely perplexed as to his 
exact duty, he received intelligence that his vanguard, 
posted at Bourg, had gone over to Napoleon, and that the 
inhabitants of Chalons-sur-Saone had seized the park of 
artillery. All this confirming what Ney had just been 
told by the courier, he exclaimed, "It is impossible for 
me to stop the incoming water of the ocean with the palm 
of my hand!" Accordingly, on the following morning, he 
published an order of the day, declaring that " the cause 
of the Bourbons was lost forever, and that the legitimate 
dynasty which the French nation had adopted was about 
to feascend the throne." This order was read to the 
troops and was received by them with rapture ; some of 
the officers, however, remonstrated and left their com- 
mand. One, before he went away, broke his sword in 
two, and threw the pieces at Ney's feet, saying, "It is 
easier for a man of honor to break iron than to infringe 
his word. ' ' 

Ney put his soldiery in motion forthwith, and joined 
the march of the Emperor on the 17th of March at 


Auxerre, being received by Napoleon with open arms. 
Ney avowed later that he had chosen the part of Napoleon 
long ere he pledged his oath to lyouis, adding that the 
greater number of the marshals were, like himself, 
original members of the Elban conspiracy to again place 
him on the throne. 

In and about the capital there still remained troops 
sufficient in numbers to overwhelm the advancing column, 
and Louis intrusted the command of these battalions to 
Marshal Macdonald, who proceeded to establish himself 
at Melun with the King's army, in the hopes of being sup- 
ported by his soldiers in the discharge of his commission. 

On the 19th Napoleon slept once more in the chateau 
of Fontainebleau, and on the morning of the 20th he 
advanced through the forest, alone, and with the full 
knowledge of Macdonald' s arrangements. About noon 
the marshal's troops, who had been for some time under 
arms on an eminence beyond the wood, perceived suddenly 
a single open carriage coming at full speed towards them 
from among the trees. A handful of Polish horsemen, 
with their lances reversed, followed the equipage. The 
little flat cocked hat; the gray surtout; then the person of 
Napoleon was recognized. In an instant the men burst 
from their ranks, surrounded him with the cries of ' ' Vive 
r Empereur ! " and trampled their white cockades in the 
dust. Macdonald escaped to Paris but lyOuis had not 
awaited his last stand. He had set off from the 
Tuileries in the middle of the preceding night, amidst 
the tears and lamentations of several courtiers, taking the 
road to lyisle. McDonald soon overtook and accom- 
panied him to the frontier of the Netherlands, which he 
reached in safety. 


-' Napoleon once more entered Paris on the evening of 
£lie 20th of Marcli. He came preceded and followed by 
the soldiery on horseback, and on whom alone he had 
relied. At the Tuileries he was received with every 
possible demonstration of joy and was almost stifled by 
the pressure of those enthusiastic adherents who, the 
moment he stopped in the court-yard of the palace, mounted 
him on their shoulders and carried him in triumph up 
the great staircase of the palace. The Kmperor, during 
this dramatic proceeding, continued to exclaim, ' ' Be steady 
my good children ; be steady I entreat you. ' ' A piece of 
his coat being either purposely or by accident torn off, was 
instantly divided into hundreds of scraps, for the procure- 
ment of each remnant of which, by way of relic, there 
was as much struggling as if the effort had been made to 
become possessed of so many ingots of gold. He found 
in the apartments, which the King had but lately vacated, 
a brilliant assemblage of those who had in former times 
filled the most prominent places in his own councils and 

" Gentlemen," said Napoleon, as he walked round the 
circle, " it is disinterested people who have brought me 
back to my capital. It is the subalterns and the soldiers 
that have done it all. I owe everything to the people and 
the army. ' ' 

All night long the cannon of Marengo and Austerlitz 
pealed forth their joyous sounds, the city was brilliantly 
illuminated, and all except the Bourbons, who, as Thiers 
happily says, " during twenty-five years had neither 
learned or forgotten anything," were rejoicing at the 
return of the Bxile. Napoleon had now proved that he 
was not only Emperor of the army but of the citizens, 


the people, the peasantry, and the masses. With a handful 
of men he had marched from one end of the kingdom to 
the other, entered the capital and taken possession of the 
throne, and that without shedding even one drop of blood ! 

He assigned, among other reasons for leaving Klba, that 
in addition to the violation of the treaty of Fontaiuebleau 
in failing to pay his pension, that his wife and child had 
been seized, detained, and never permitted to join him ;that 
the pensions to his mother and brothers were alike refused, 
and that assassins had been sent over to Elba, for the 
express purpose of murdering him. This last charge has 
also been made by Savary with much positiveness. ' ' I^ast 
year, ' ' said Napoleon, ' ' it was said that I recalled the 
Bourbons ; this year they recall me ; so we are equal ! ' ' 

Previous to the morning of- the 20th of March the 
nights had been rainy and the days sombre and cloudy ; 
but on this morning, the anniversary of the birth of the 
young King of Rome, the day was ushered in by a brilliant 
sun and which produced a strong effect on the populace 
who again referred in their acclamations to the ' ' sun 
of Napoleon" as they had that of Austerlitz, ten years 
before. On the following day the whole population of 
the capital directed their steps towards the Tuileries and 
repeated anon and anon their pleasure at the return of 
the Emperor who had, between the ist and the 20th of 
March, fulfilled that strange prophecy in which he said, 
victory would march at the charging step, and that the 
imperial eagle would fly, without pause, from steeple to 
steeple, to the towers of Norte Dame, even to the 
dome of the Palace of the Tuileries! 



The instant that news of Napoleon's daring movement 
reached Vienna, the Congress, although on the point of 
dissolution, published a proclamation in which it was said: 
"By breaking the Convention which had established him 
in Elba, Bonaparte destroyed the only legal title on which 
his existence depended ; and by appearing again in France, 
with projects of confusion and disorder, he has deprived 
himself of the protection of the laws, and has manifested 
to the universe that there can be neither peace or truce 
with him. The powers consequently declare, that Napo- 
leon Bonaparte has placed himself without the pale of 
civil and social relations, and that as an enemy and 
disturber of the tranquility of the world, he has rendered 
himself liable to public vengeance. " 

All Europe was now prepared once more for war. A 
formal treaty was entered into by which the four great 
powers, England, Austria, Russia and Prussia, bound 
themselves to maintain, each of them, at least 150,000 
troops in arms until Napoleon should either be dethroned, 
or reduced so low as no longer to endanger the peace of 
Europe. The other states of the Continent were to be 
invited to join the alliance, furnishing contingents 
adequate to their respective resources. 

It was stipulated that in case England should not furnish 
all the men agreed upon she would compensate by paying 
at the rate of $150 per annum for every cavalry soldier, 
and f 100 for every foot soldier under the full number. 

On the day following his return from Elba, Napoleon 

reviewed all the troops in Paris, and addressed them in one 



of those stirring and eloquent speeches which had 
never failed to excite their enthusiasm. In beginning 
his address, he said: "Soldiers, I am returned to 
France with twelve hundred men, because I relied 
upon the love of the people, and the remembrance of 
me with the veteran troops. I have not been deceived in 
my expectations ; I thank you, soldiers. The glory of all 
that is achieved is due to the people and yourselves. My 
only merit consists in having justly appreciated you." 

Cries of "Vive I'Empereur !" filled the air and were 
redoubled when General Cambronne entered at the head of 
the ofiicers of the battalion of the Guard, which had accom- 
panied him to and from Elba, and carrying the imperial 
eagles. On observing the ancient emblems. Napoleon 
exclaimed, "Behold the officers of the battalion who 
accompanied me in the hour of misfortune! They are 
all my friends ; they are dear to my heart ; whenever 
I beheld them, they presented to my view the different 
regiments composing the army ; for, in the number of 
these six hundred brave men, there are individuals of 
every corps. In loving them, it is all of you, soldiers 
of the whole army, that I loved. They come to restore 
you those eagles; let them prove to you the rallying 
point ! Swear that they shall be found everywhere, 
when the interests of the country shall require them ; 
that the traitors, and those who would subjugate our 
territory, may never be able to support their view." 
' ' We swear ! ' ' came the vociferous replies of the soldiers 
to the strains of the band playing: "I^etus watch over 
the safety of the Empire. ' ' 

Among the peals that rent the air, those of the working 
class were particularly audible, their incessant cries being 


couched in these terms : ' ' The Great Contractor is 
returned ; we shall now eat bread !' ' 

Napoleon was hardly reseated on his throne ere he 
learned that he must in all likelihood defend himself against 
225,000 Russians, 300,000 Austrians, 236,000 Prussians, 
an army of 150, 000 men furnished by the minor States of 
Germany, 50,000 contributed by the government of the 
Netherlands, and 50,000 English, commanded by the Duke 
of Wellington; in all 1,100,000 soldiers! From the 
moment he re-established himself in the Tuileries, he 
began that period of his government, which has been 
designated the ' ' Hundred Days, ' ' in order to meet this 
gigantic confederation. Carnot became once more Minister 
of War, and showed the same energy he had manifested 
during the Consulate. Napoleon had the nation with 
him at that moment, notwithstanding the proclama- 
tions of lyouis XVIII., — which had found their way into 
the capital, — announced the speedy arrival of a million 
foreign soldiers under the walls of Paris to replace him on 
his throne and drive away the ' ' usurper. ' ' 

The Duchess d'Angouleme was the last of the royal 
family who remained in France. She had thrown herself 
into Bordeaux, trusting to the friendly feeling of the 
mayor and citizens. She made strong efforts to maintain 
the Bourbon cause, and behaved with so much spirit as 
to make Napoleon pass an eulogium on her as ' ' the only 
man of her family." But her efforts failed. 

The effective force of the army in France, when Napo- 
leon landed at Cannes, consisted of but about 93,000 
men. The cavalry had been greatly reduced, and the 
disasters of 1812, 1813 and 18 14 were still visible in the 
deficiency of military stores, and arms, — especially of 


artillery. By almost incredible exertions, although now 
unable to adopt the old method of conscription, by the 
middle of May the Emperor had over 375,000 men in 
arms, — including an Imperial Guard of 40,000 chosen 
veterans, — all in a splendid state of equipment and disci- 
pline ; a large and brilliant force of cavalrj^, and a train of 
artillery of proportional extent and excellence. He had 
labored unremittingly to raise the military strength of 
France to a height sufficient once more to repel the attack 
of all Europe, and was employed fifteen or sixteen hours a 
day during the whole of this period. Men, clothing, arms, 
horses, and discipline were wanting. 

All the veterans were now recalled to the ranks. They 
came in crowds, leaving the employments to which they 
had applied themselves to the number of one hundred 
thousand men. All the ofl&cers on half pay were also 
summoned to action. 

Napoleon made several attempts to open a negotiation 
with the Allies, and urged three arguments in defense of his 
"breach of the Convention" by which he had become 
sovereign of Elba: ist, the detention of his wife and son by 
the Court of Austria : 2d, the non-payment of his pension, 
and 3d, the voice of the French nation which he had heard 
and obeyed, as evidenced by the fact that by the end of 
March the tri-colored flag was displayed on every tower in 

During the last days of the Congress of Vienna, Murat's 
possession of the throne of Naples was under discussion, 
and Talleyrand was endeavoring to dethrone him and 
place thereon the King of the Sicilies. When Napoleon 
landed on the shores of France, Murat resolved to rival his 
brother-in-law's daring and without further pause marched 


to Rome, at the head of 50,000 men, the Pope and 
cardinals fleeing at his approach. Murat then advanced 
into the north of Italy, inviting "all true Italians" to rally 
round him, and assist in the erection of their country into 
one free and independent state, with himself at their head. 

The Austrian commander in lyombardy put his troops 
in motion at once to meet Murat, and the latter' s followers 
fleeing in confusion, their leader sought personal safety 
in flight. On quitting his wretched remnant of an army he 
returned incognito to his capital on the evening of the 
1 8th of May. As he embraced his queen, — Napoleon's 
sister, — he exclaimed, with emotion, "All is lost, Caroline, 
e-xcept my own life, and that I have been unable to throw 
away !" 

He departed in a fishing vessel which landed him near 
Toulon about the end of Ma} . Here he lingered for some 
time, entreating Napoleon to receive him at Paris, and 
being unsuccessful, after a series of extraordinary hard- 
ships, relanded on the coast of Naples after the King of 
the Two Sicilies had been re-established on that throne. 

Murat hoped to invite an insurrection and recover what 
he had lost;but was seized, tried, and executed, meeting 
his fate with heroic fortitude. To those who took his life 
he said at the last moment, " Save my face; aim at my 
heart!" At St. Helena, Napoleon often said that the 
fortune of the world might have been changed had there 
been a Murat to head the French cavalry at Waterloo. 

Austria was now concentrating all her Italian forces for 
the meditated re-invasion of France ; the Spanish army 
began to muster towards the passes of the Pyrenees, the 
Russians, Swedes and Danes were already advancing from 
"he north, while the main armies of Austria, Bavaria and 


the Rhenish princes were rapidly consolidating themselves 
along the Upper Rhine. Blucher was once more in 
command of the Prussians in the Netherlands ; and Well- 
ington, commanding in chief the British, Hanoverians 
and Belgians, had also established his headquarters at 
Brussels by the end of May. It was very evident to 
Napoleon that the clouds were thickening fast and he at 
once began preparations to defend himself ere his frontier 
had been crossed on all sides. 

Among other preparations, the Emperor had now 
strongly fortified Paris and all the positions in advance of 
it on the Seine, the Marne, and the Aube, and among the 
passes of the Vosgesian hills. I^yons, also, had been 
guarded by very formidable outworks. Massena, at Metz, 
and Suchet, on the Swiss frontier, commanded divisions 
which the Kniperor judged sufficient to restrain Schwart- 
zenberg for some time on the Upper Rhine. Should he 
drive them, in the fortresses behind could hardly fail to 
detain him much longer. 

Meanwhile Napoleon had resolved to himself attack the 
most alert of his enemies, the Prussians and the English, 
beyond the Sambre, — while the Austrians were thus held 
in check on the Upper Rhine; and ere the armies of the 
North could debouch upon Manheim, to co-operate by their 
right with Wellington and Blucher, and by their left with 

On the 14th of May, previously appointed as the day 
of procession and solemn festival of the ' ' Federates, ' ' — 
operatives and artisans of Paris — the Emperor rode along 
their ranks, received their acclamations, and harangued 
them in his usual strain of eloquence. In the meantime, 
however, Eouche, Minister of Police, had already begun 


to hold traitorous communications with the Austrian 
government. In one instance Napoleon had discovered 
this fact, and had nearly caused him to be arrested ; but he 
abstained, apparently from apprehension of the Republican 
party, amongst whom Fouche was a busy pretender. 

The ceremony of the ' ' Champ-de-Mai ' ' took place on 
the ist of June, in the open space facing the Military School. 
The Imperial and National Guards and troops of the 
line, amounting in all to 15,000 soldiers, were drawn up in 
squares in the Champ-de-Mars and an immense concourse 
of spectators thronged every vacant space from which a 
view of the scene could be gained. After a religious 
solemnity, a patriotic address was delivered to the Emperor 
by the electors of the departments, to which he replied : 
" Emperor, Consul, Soldier — I hold all from the people. 
In prosperity, in adversity, in the field of battle, in 
council, on the throne, in exile, France has been the sole 
object of all my thoughts and actions." 

The Emperor then proceeded to the altar and took an 
oath to observe the new constitution, which had been 
adopted by upwards of a million and a half votes, and in 
which he was followed by his ministers and the electoral 
deputations. The ceremony concluded with the distribu- 
tion of the eagles to the troops, and with loud and 
repeated acclamations, and cries of " Vive 1' Empereur! " 
from the soldiers and multitude assembled. On the 
following day the Emperor gave a grand fete, in the 
gallery of the I^ouvre, to the deputies of the army and 
the electors, on which occasion he was again greeted with 
every manifestation of devotion and fidelity. On the 4th 
of June, Napoleon attended in person the opening of the 
Chambers and delivered addresses which were both firm, 
open and sensible. 


By this time the Emperor had made most extraordinary 
progress in his preparations for war. The effective 
strength of the army had been raised to 365,000 men, of 
whom 117,000 were under arms, clothed, disciplined and 
ready to take the field. They were formed into seven 
grand corps, besides several corps of observation stationed 
along the whole line of the frontiers, which were then 
threatened on every side. What Napoleon now required 
was time to prepare the means of defense; but this his 
enemies were far from intending to allow. 

Their immense armaments were already passing on 
towards the frontiers of France, in different lines, and at 
considerable intervals, for the convenience of subsistence. 
The Emperors of Russia and Austria, and the King of 
Prussia, had once more placed themselves at the head of 
their respective armies. The Austrians, amounting to 
300,000 men, commanded in chief by Schwartzenberg, 
were divided into two bodies, one of which was to enter 
France by Switzerland, the other by the Upper Rhine. 
Two hundred thousand Russians were marching towards 
Alsace, under the Archduke Constantine. The Prussian 
army amounted to two hundred and thirty-six thousand * 
men ; of whom one half were already in the field. The 
minor states of Germany had furnished one hundred and 
fifty thousand ; the Netherlands, fifty thousand ; England, 
eighty thousand, including the king's German legion, and 
other troops in British pay, under the command of the 
Duke of Wellington ; — in all 1,016,000 soldiers ! 

Among these hosts it was the army commanded by the 
Duke of Wellington, and the Prussians under Blucher, 
which were first in the field. They occupied Belgium 


and amounted to upwards of t^yo hundred thousand men, 
of whom rather less than one half were ranged under the 
English commander-in-chief. 

Two plans of campaign presented themselves to the 
mind of Napoleon. One was to remain entirely on the 
defensive, leaving to the Allies the odium of striking the 
first blow against the liberties of nations. He believed 
that as they would not begin the invasion until the middle 
of July, it would be the middle of August before they 
could make their way through the fortresses, and appear 
in force before L/yons and Paris. Large armies, could, 
before that time, be concentrated by him under the walls 
of these two cities, and there the battles must be fought 
and decided. The second plan was to assume the offensive 
before the Allies had completed their operations, by 
marching into Belgium and attacking the armies of 
Wellington and Blucher. His numbers would be inferior, 
but his tactics would aim at preventing the junction of 
the two armies opposed to him and beating them separ- 
ately, in which event Belgium would to a certainty rise 
and join his cause. He finally resolved on the latter plan 
of campaign. His calculations, were, in part, disturbed 
by a serious insurrection in La Vendee, which obliged 
him' to send 20,000 men into that province, in order 
to quell it, and reduced his disposable forces to one 
hundred and twenty thousand men ; but did not alter his 
determination. The army was put in motion, and every 
preparation made for the approaching struggle. 

The Emperor left Paris on the night between the nth 
and 12th of June, as some writers declare "to measure 
himself against Wellington." The Imperial Guard had 
commenced its march on the 8th, and all the different 



corps of the army were in motion towards Maubeuge and 
Phillipville. When he had made known his intention of 
commencing the war, Caulaincourt soHcited the favor of 
attending him. " If I do not leave you at Paris ' ' answered 
Napoleon, "on whom can I depend?" Even then he 
felt that it was not the Allies alone that he had to contend 
against ; and when he had left Paris he seemed less appre- 
hensive of the enemies before, than those he had left 
behind him. To Bertrand's wife he said, as he took her 
hand at departing, ' ' I^et us hope, Madame Bertrand, that 
we may not soon have to regret the Island of Elba. " 

Napoleon arrived at Vervins on the 12 th of June and 
assembled and reviewed at Beaumont on the 14th, the whole 
of the army which had been prepared to act immediately 
under his own orders. They had been most carefully 
selected, and formed, and it was, perhaps, the most perfect 
force, though far from the most numerous, with which he 
had ever taken the field. The returns showed that his army 
amounted to one hundred and twenty-two thousand four 
hundred men, with three hundred and fifty pieces of 
cannon. These included 25,000 of his Imperial Guard, 
25,000 cavalry in the highest condition, and artillery 
admirably served. * ' The whole army was superb and 
full of ardor ; ' ' says Count lyabedoyere, * ' but the 
Emperor, more a slave than could have been credited to 
recollections and old habits, committed the great fault of 
replacing his army under the command of its former 
chiefs, most of whom, notwithstanding their previous 
addresses to the King, did not cease to pray for the 
triumph of the Imperial cause ; yet were not disposed 
to serve it with that ardor and devotion demanded by 
imperious circumstances. They were no longer men full 


of youth and ambition, generously prodigal of their lives 
to acquire rank and fame ; but veterans, weary of warfare, 
who, having attained the summit of promotion, and being 
enriched by the spoils of the enemy, or the bounty of 
Napoleon, indulged no other wish, than the peaceable 
enjoyment of their good fortune under the shade of those 
laurels, they had so dearly acquired. ' ' 

The Emperor reminded his soldiers, in a fiery proclama- 
tion issued on the 14th of June, that the day was the anni- 
versary of • the battle of Marengo and of Friedland. 
" Then, as after Austerlitz and Wagram " he said " we 
were too generous. We gave credit to the protestations 
and oaths of the princes whom we suffered to remain on 
their thrones. Now, however, having coalesced among 
themselves, they aim at the independence and the most 
sacred rights of France. They have commenced the most 
unjust of aggressions. Are we no longer the same men ? 
Fools that they are ! A moment of prosperity blinds 
them. The oppression and the humiliation of the French 
people are out of their power. If they enter France, 
there will they find their tomb. Soldiers ! We have forced 
marches to make ; battles to wage ; perils to encounter ; 
but with constancy the victory will be ours. The rights 
— the honor of the country — will be honored. For every 
Frenchman who has a heart, the moment has now arrived 
either to conquer or perish ! ' ' 

The army of Blucher numbered at this time about 
1 20,000 men. They communicated on their right with the 
left of the Anglo-Belgian army, under Wellington, whose 
headquarters were at Brussels. Blucher's forces extended 
along the line of the Sambre and the Meuse, occupied 
Charleroi, Namur, Givet, and Liege. The Duke of 


of Wellington's host amounted in all to 75,000 men ; his 
first division occupied Enghien, Brain-le-Compte and 
Nivelles, communicating with the Prussian right at 
Charleroi. The second division, — Lord Hills', — ^was 
cantoned in Halle, Oudenard and Gramont, together with 
the greater part of the cavalry. The reserve, under Sir 
Thomas Picton, was quartered at Brussels and Ghent. 
The English and Prussian commanders had thus arranged 
their troops with the view of being able to support each 
other, wherever the French might hazard their assault. 

In the night between the 14th and 15th, scouts returned 
to the headquarters of the French, reporting that there 
was no movement among the invaders at Charleroi, 
Namur or Brussels, thus verifying the Emperor's belief 
that the plans for concealing the movements of his army 
during the last few days were successful. The Duke of 
Wellington, in a letter to I^ord Bathurst, on the 13th, 
declared his disbelief in the report that Napoleon had 
joined the army, and it was not until the afternoon of the 
15th that he possessed any knowledge of the posi- 
tion and intentions of Napoleon. On that day, an officer 
of high rank arrived at Wellington's headquarters in 
Brussels with the intelligence of Napoleon's decisive 

General Bourmont, a protege of Ney, with Colonels 
Clouet and Villoutreys, and two other officers, had gone 
over to the enemy with all the Emperor's plans. Napoleon 
knew from Marshal Ney that Bourmont had shown some 
hesitation, and he had been backward in employing him. 
Bourmont, however, having given General Gerard his 
word of honor to serve the Emperor faithfully ; and the 
general in question, whom Napoleon valued highly, having 


answered for his integrity, the Emperor consented to 
admit him into the service. He had covered himself with 
glory in 18 14, and it was not to be expected that he would 
in 1 8 15 go over to the enemy on the eve of a battle. A 
drum-major, who deserted from the French ranks some 
hours before General Bourmont and his two companions, 
was conducted under an escort to the headquarters of 
Blucher, at Namur, where he gave the first intelligence of 
Napoleon's intended attack. This was confirmed by 
Bourmont, Clouet and Villoutreys who added details with 
which the drum-major could not possibly have been 

I^ater on, in speaking of these traitors. Napoleon said, 
' ' Their names will be held in execration so long as the 
French people form a nation. This desertion increased 
the anxiety of the soldiers. ' ' 

The Emperor immediately made those alterations in his 
plan of attack, as such unexpected treason rendered 
neccessary, and then proceeded to carry out the details of 
his campaign. He had determined on first attacking the 
Prussians, as he believed Blucher would give him battle 
at once, in order to allow the English time to collect their 
forces. He believed also, that if the English army were 
attacked first, Blucher would more rapidly arrive to the 
support of the English than the latter were likely to do 
if the Prussians were first attacked. 

Ney had been placed in command of 43,000 men, with 
orders to advance on the road to Brussels and make him- 
self master of the position of Quatre-Bras, at all points^ 
so as to prevent Wellington from supporting the Prussians. 
He was to march at daybreak, on the i6th, occupy the 
position and intrench himself. 


On Thursday, the 15th of June, the French drove in all 
the outposts on the west bank of the Sambre at daybreak 
and at length assaulted Charleroi, it being the intention of 
the Emperor to crush Blucher ere he could concentrate 
all his own forces, — far less be supported by the advance 
of Wellington, — and then rush on Brussels. Zietten held 
out with severe loss at Charleroi ; but long enough for 
the alarm to spread along the whole Prussian line and 
then fell back on a position between I^igny and Amand, 
where Blucher now awaited Napoleon's attack at the 
head of his whole army, except the division of Bulow, 
which had not yet come up from I^iege. 

Thedesignof beating the Prussians in detail was not a 
success but the second part of the plan — that of separating 
them wholly from Wellington, might still succeed. With 
this view, while Blucher was concentrating his force 
about I^igny, the French held the main road to Brussels 
from Charleroi, beating some Nassau troops at Frasnes, 
and following them as far as Quatre-Bras, a farm-house, 
so-called because it is there that the roads from Charleroi 
to Brussels, and from Nivelles to Namur cross each other. 

On Thursday a Prussian officer arrived at Wellington's 
headquarters in Brussels, with the intelligence of Napo- 
leon's decisive operations. It is still an open question 
just what hour this news was received by the Duke, the 
time being variously stated at from i to 6 o'clock p.m. 
This news was to the effect that the attack had commenced 
and the out-posts of the Allies had been driven back — much 
to Wellington's surprise, as he was not wholly prepared for 
the news. There was to be a ball in Brussels on Thursday 
evening, at the Duchess of Richmond's hotel, attended by 
the Duke of Wellington and most of his general 
ofi&cers. Notwithstanding the intelligence, they all went ; 


6ut a second dispatch arrived at 11 o'clock, announcing 
that ' ' the French had entered Charleroi that morning, 
and continued to march in order of battle on Brussels ; 
that there were one hundred and fifty thousand strong ; 
and that the Emperor was at their head ! " It was now 
but too clear that no more time should be lost and the 
Duke and all of his officers hurried out of the ball-room. 

Wellington, now fully aware of his situation, at once 
issued orders for the breaking up of his cantonments, and 
the concentration of the forces, which were spread over a 
very great extent. He rode off at an early hour on the 
1 6th, to Quatre-Bras, to visit the position, and thence to 
Bry, where he had an interview with Blucher. 

Napoleon, whose manoeuvres had thus far succeeded to 
his wish, on coming up from Charleroi about noon on the 
1 6th, was undecided whether Blucher at I<igny, or 
Wellington at Quatre-Bras, ought to form the main object 
of his attack. He at length determined to give his own 
personal attention to Blucher. 

The advanced guards met at the village of Fleurus, 
and those belonging to the Prussians having retreated, 
their army now appeared drawn up in battle array ; — their 
left on Sombref ; their centre on L,igny ; their right on 
SI. Amand, The reserves were on the heights of Bry. 
Upon the summit of this high ground the mill of Bry was 
conspicuous, and behind the mill, in a depression, stood 
the village of Bry, whose steeple only was visible. 

The Prussian forces occupied a line nearly four miles 
in extent. The French army.not including Ney's division, 
amounting to 60,000 men, halted and formed. The 
Emperor now rode to some windmills on the chain of 
outposts on the heights, and reconnoitred the enemy. 


The Prussians displayed to him a force of about 80,000 
men. Their front was protected by a deep ravine ; but their 
right was exposed, and had Ney's division at Quatre-Bras, 
as the Emperor supposed, in the rear. A staff ofl&cer now 
arrived from Ney, to inform Napoleon that he had not 
yet occupied Quatre-Bras, inconsequence of reports which 
made him apprehensive of being turned by the enemy ; 
but that he would advance, if the Emperor still required 
it. Napoleon blamed him for having lost eight hours, 
repeated the order, and added that, as soon as Ney had 
made good that position, he (Ney) was to send a detach- 
ment by the causeway of Namur and the village of 
Marchais, whence it should attack the heights of Bry in 
the Prussian rear. Ney received this order at 12 o'clock, 
noon ; his detachment might reach Marchais by about 
2 o'clock. 

Atthis latter hour, therefore, the Emperor having descend- 
ed from the heights whence he had formed a correct view of 
his position, gave orders for an immediate attack by a 
change of the whole front, divided into several columns, on 
Fleurus. The attack extended all along the line of the 
enemy, and which would be enclosed between two fires on 
the arrival of the detachment from Ney's division in the 
rear of the Prussians. ' ' The fate of the war, ' ' said Napo- 
leon, in answer to a question from Count Gerard, "may be 
decided in three hours. If Ney executes his orders well, 
not a gun of the Prussian army will escape." The 
soldiers had hardly advanced a few paces, amid vociferous 
cries of ' ' Vive 1' Empereur ! ' ' when terrible ravages 
were made in their ranks by the chain-shot from the 
village and the balls from the batteries above. A single 
ball killed eight men in one of the columns. But the 


enthusiasm of the troops, all eager for battle, was too great 
to cause them to waver and they advanced almost without 
firing, drove the Prussians at the point of the bayonet 
from their positions in the gardens and orchards, and 
entered the village after a stout resistance, only to retire a 
short time later being unable to conquer the masses of 
infantry drawn up in a semi-circle on a slope which 
surmounted the hill of Bry. The action at I^igny had 
commenced a little later but not less aggressively. As 
Gerard's three columns approached the village of I^igny 
they were received with such a volley that they were 
obliged to fall back. A large body of artillery was then 
thrown forward and riddled the village of lyigny and 
Gerard's columns again advanced, finally taking posses- 
sion of the place. This was followed by a series of 
combats, exceedingly ferocious, as the French gave no 
quarter nor did they receive any from the Prussians. 

Blucher now advanced at the head of his soldiers and 
made a vigorous attempt upon the three St, Amands ; but 
with only partial success for a time. At length, by a 
series of skillful attacks and manoeuvres, the French 
became masters of these three points, but had not been 
able to cross the sinuous stream of lyigny. It was now 
5:30 o'clock and Napoleon was directing the Imperial 
Guard upon lyigny in support of the advantages already 
gained by Count Gerard at the head of 5,000 men, at 
St, Amand, when he was informed that an army of 30,000 
was advancing upon Fleurus. The Emperor suspended 
the movement of his Guard in order to meet this new 
force ; but the alarm was unfounded. It proved to be 
the first corps, — Count d' Krlon's, — which formed part of 
Ney's division, at last complying with Napoleon's 


repeated orders, and had come up to take the enemy in the 
rear: — their unexpected appearance had occasioned the 
loss of two hours. 

The Old Guard now resumed its suspended movements 
upon lyigny : the ravine was passed by General Pecheux, 
at the head of his division, supported by the infantry, 
cavalry, artillery and Milhaud's cuirassiers. The reserves 
of the Prussians were driven back with the bayonet, and 
the centre of the line broken and routed. A bloody 
conflict ensued in which the French were victorious. The 
slaughter among the Prussians, was most remarkable. 
They, however, divided into two parts, effected a retreat, 
favored by the night and by the failure of that attack in 
the rear which Ney had been so expressly ordered to 
make by a detachment from his force. Their loss amounted 
to the prodigious number of 18,000 men, killed, wounded 
or prisoners ; forty pieces of cannon and eight stands of 
colors, while the French loss was between 8,000 and 

For five hours, two hundred pieces of ordnance deluged 
the field with slaughter, blood and death, during which 
period the French and Prussians, alternately vanquished 
and victors, disputed that ensanguined post hand to hand 
and foot to foot, so that no less than seven times in 
succession L/igny was taken and lost. 

The Emperor had repeatedly sent to Ney saying ' ' that 
the destiny of France rested in his hands ' ' but the veteran 
marshal failed to appreciate the importance of the orders 
and did not act promptly. 

Many of the Prussian generals were killed or wounded ; 
and Blucher himself was overthrown, man and horse, by 
a charge of cuirassiers, and galloped over by friends and 


foes. Night was coming on and the marshal, who was 
much battered and bruised, effected his escape. He j oined 
a body of his troops, directed the retreat upon Wavres, 
and continued to mask his movements so skilfully, that 
Napoleon knew not until noon on the 17th what way he 
had taken. 

The total loss of the French amounted to no more than 
nine thousand, killed or wounded — the extraordinary 
disproportion being occasioned by the more skillful dispo- 
sition of the French troops, whereby all their shots took 
effect, while more than half of those of the enemy were 

On the same day as the battle of Ligny, — June i6th, — 
was also fought the battle of Quatre-Bras, and at about 
the same time. Ney, with 45,000 men, began an attack 
on the position of Wellington at Quatre-Bras. At this 
point the French were posted among growing corn as high 
as the tallest man's shoulder, and which enabled them to 
draw up a strong body of cuirassiers close to the English, 
and yet entirely out of their view. The 49th and 42d 
regiments of Highlanders were thus taken by surprise, and 
the latter would have been destroyed but for the coming 
up of the former. The 42 d, formed into a square, was 
repeatedly broken, and as often recovered, though with 
terrible loss of life, for out of 800 that went into action, 
onlyninety-six privates and four officers remained unhurt. 

The pressing orders of Napoleon not allowing the 
marshal time for reflection, and doubtless anxious to repair 
the precious time lost in which he might have taken posses- 
sion of Quatre-Bras, he did not sufficiently reconnoitre 
but entered into the contest without being wholly prepared. 
The first successful attack was soon suspended by the 


arrival of fresh reinforcements, led by the Duke of Welling- 
ton, and the shining bravery of the Scotch, Belgians and 
the Prince of Orange suspended the success of the French. 
They were repulsed by a shower of bullets from the 
British infantry added to a battery of two guns which 
strewed the causeway with men and horses. 

Ney was desirous of making the first corps, which 
he had left in the rear, advance ; but Napoleon had 
dispatched positive orders to Count d' Erlon, at the head 
of that body, to join him, for which purpose the latter 
had commenced his march. Ney, when made acquainted 
with this fact, was stationed amidst a cross-fire from the 
enemies' batteries. ' * Do you see those bullets ? ' ' cried the 
marshal, his brow clouded by despair ; *' would that they 
would all pass through my body ! ' ' and he instantly sent 
General Delcambre with all speed after Count d' Erlon, 
directing that whatsoever might have been his orders, 
although received from the Kmperor himself, he must 
return. This he did, but when he arrived in the evening, 
Ney, dispirited by the checks already received, and 
dissatisfied with himself and others, had discontinued 
the engagement. D' Erlon had spent the day in useless 
marches, his valor wasted by a fatality over which he had 
no control. Between 5 and 6 o'clock General Delcambre 
had overtaken the first corps on its march to Bry and 
brought it back towards Quatre-Bras ! 

Night found the English, after a severe and bloody day, 
in possession of Quatre-Bras, the French being obliged to 
retreat. The gallant Duke of Brunswick, fighting in front 
of the hue, fell almost in the beginning of the battle. 
The killed and wounded on the side of the French was 
4,000 and the Allies' loss was nearly 6,000, in consequence 


of their having scarcely any artillery. As at I^igny, little 
quarter was either asked or given, there being much hatred 
between the French and Prussians. The French were next 
driven out from the Bois de Bossu by the Belgians, and the 
English divisions of Alten, Halket, Maitland, Cooke, and 
Byng, successively arrived. 

By neglecting to move the whole of his division 
upon Quatre-Bras early in the morning, Ney failed to cut 
off the means of junction between the Prussian and English 
armies ; and by not sending the detachment to attack the 
Prussians in the rear at Ligny, it now appears that the 
whole Prussian army was saved from being destroyed, or 
made prisoners, before it coxtld receive the full support 
which had been promised by the Duke of Wellington. 
The latter intended to advance on Quatre-Bras at 2 o'clock, 
and debouch on St. Amand at 4 p. m. Ney, however, 
did an important act in checking the advance of five or six 
divisions of the main army during the rest of the day while 
the battle of Ivigny was decided, and in this repaired, in a 
measure, his various faults committed on the i6th. 

The French bivouacked, on the night of the i6th, on 
the battlefield of Ivigny, with the exception of Grouchy's 
division, which encamped at Sombref. The Duke of 
Wellington passed the night at Quatre-Bras, — his army 
gradually joining him till the morning of the 17th, — 
when they amounted to 50,000 men. The victory 
acquired by Napoleon at Ivigny did not fulfill his expec- 
tations. ' * If Marshal Ney had attacked the British 
with his united forces, ' ' said the Emperor, ' ' they must 
inevitably have been crushed ; after which, he might have 
given the Prussians a conclusive blow ; but, even if after 
neglecting that first step he had not committed a second, 


in impeding the movement of Count d' Erlon, the appear- 
ance of the first corps would have curtailed Blucher's 
resistance, and secured his overthrowwithout a possibility 
of doubt ; then his entire army must have been captured 
or annihilated." 

Ney was now ordered to advance on Quatre-Bras at 
daybreak, and attack the British rear-guard, while Count 
lyobau was to proceed along the causeway of Namur, and 
take the British in flank. General Pajol, at daybreak, 
also went in pursuit of the Prussians under Blucher. He 
was supported by Grouchy, with Kxcelmans' cavalry, 
and the third and fourth corps of infantry, amounting in 
all to about 32,000 men. Grouchy was ordered by the 
Emperor to ' ' above all things, pursue the Prussians 
briskly, and keep up a communication with me to the 
left " so as to rejoin the main army whenever required. 

Napoleon rode over the field of battle at Ligny, and 
directed every assistance be given to the wounded. He 
then hurried to the support of Ney's attack on Quatre- 
Bras. He learned that it was still held by the British, and 
that Ney had not made the attack. He reproached Ney 
on meeting him, and the marshal excused his delay by 
declaring he believed the whole British army was there. 
This, however, was not the case. 

The Duke of Wellington, who intended a junction with 
the Prussians at Quatre-Bras, — ^buthad been frustrated by 
their disastrous defeat at Lingy, — now ordered a retreat 
on Brussels, leaving the Earl of Uxbridge, with his 
cavalry, as a rear-guard. Napoleon directed Count 
lyobau's division to advance, and the British cavalry then 
began to retire in battle-array. The French army moved 
forward in pursuit, the Emperor leading the way. 


The weather was extremely bad, the rain falling in 
torrents, so that the roads were scarcely passable. The 
attack of cavalry on the British rear-guard was, therefore, 
impracticable, but they were much discomfited by the 
French artillery. About 6 o'clock the air became 
extremely foggy, so that all further attack was relinquished 
for the night ; but not until the Emperor had ascertained 
that the whole Knglish army was encamped on the field 
of Waterloo, in front of the forest of Soignies. 

Napoleon, having ascertained the retreat of Blucher on 
Wavres, and committed the pursuit of him to Marshal 
Grouchy, believed that the latter was close to the same 
place, — as he ought to have been ; but was not. At 10 
o'clock on the night of the 17th the Kmperor dispatched 
an officer to Wavres, to inform Grouchy that there would 
be a great battle next day ; that the English and Belgian 
armies were posted on the field of Waterloo, its left 
supported by the village of I^a Haye ; and ordered him to 
detach seven thousand men, of all arms, and six pieces of 
cannon, before day break to St. Lambert, to be near to the 
right of the French army, and co-operate with it ; that as 
soon as Blucher evacuated Wavres, either towards Brussels, 
or in any other direction, he should instantly march with 
the rest of his force, and support the detachment sent to 
St. I^ambert. About an hour after this dispatch was 
sent off, the Emperor received a report from Grouchy, 
dated from Gembloux at 5 o'clock, stating that " he was 
still at this village, and had not learned what direction 
Blucher had taken!" 

At 4 o'clock in the morning a second officer was sent to 
Grouchy to repeat the communication, and the orders 
which had been sent to Wavres at 10 o'clock. Another 
dispatch soon after arrived from Grouchy, — who had not 


at that time been found by either of the officers sent by the 
Bmperor, to state that, ' ' he had learned that Blucher was 
in Wavres, and would follow him — in the morning!" 

The Kmperor was now convinced that he had not an 
hour to spare. He saw the possibility of the Duke's 
retreat with Blucher through the forest, their subsequent 
junction, while the great armies of Russia and Austria 
were about to cross the Rhine and advance on 
Paris. He now regretted more than ever that he had been 
unable to attack the English army before the night had 
intervened, and determined to follow and attack it now, if 
it commenced a retreat. 

It was not until 6 o'clock on the 17th of June that the 
advance guard of the French army arrived on the plains 
of Waterloo, — a delay being occasioned by unfortunate 
occurrences upon the road, — otherwise the forces would 
have gained the spot by 3 o'clock in the day. The circum- 
stance appeared to disconcert the Emperor extremely, 
who, pointing to the sun, exclaimed with much em- 
phasis, ' ' What would I not give, to be this day possessed 
of the power of Joshua, and enabled to retard thy march 
for two hours !" 

The Duke of Wellington, on being made aware of 
Blucher' s march on Wavre, and in adherence to the 
common plan of campaign, had given orders for falling 
back from Quatre-Bras. He had before now been heard 
to say, that if it ever were his business to defend Brussels, 
he would choose to give battle on the field of Waterloo, 
in advance of the forest of Soignies ; and he now retired 
thither, in the confidence of being joined there in the morn- 
ing by Blucher. The English at last reached the destined 
field, over roads covered with deep mud, and in the face of 


considerable rain. The troops, althougli somewhat 
discouraged by the command to retreat, were enthusiastic 
when they heard of their leader's purpose, and having 
taken up their alloted stations, bivouacked for the night 
assured of a battle on the morrow — the i8th of June. 

Arrangements having been effected early in the evening-, 
Wellington now, it appears, according to lyockhart, 
although the statement is not fully substantiated, rode 
across the country to Blucher to inform him personally 
that he had thus far effected the plan agreed on, and to 
express his hope to be supported on the morrow by two 
Prussian divisions. Blucher replied that he would reserve 
a single corps to hold Grouchy at bay as well as they 
could, and march himself, with the rest of his army upon 
Waterloo. Wellington then returned to his post. 

The cross-roads at Mont St. Jean were in an almost 
impassable condition and the rain continued to fall in 
torrents. Wellington was before the village of Mont 
St. Jean, about a mile and a half in advance of the small 
town of Waterloo, on a rising ground, having a gentle 
and regular declivity before it, — ^beyond this a plain of 
about a mile in breadth, — and then the opposite heights 
of I^a Belle Alliance, on which the French were expected 
to form their line. The Duke had 76,700 men in all ; of 
whom about 30,000 were English. He formed his first 
line of the troops on which he could most surely rely, — 
the greater part of the British infantry, with the troops of 
Brunswick and Nassau, and three corps of Hanoverians 
and Belgians. Behind this the ground sinks and then 
rises again. The second line, formed in the rear of the 
first, was composed of the troops whose spirit and discipline 
were more doubtful — or who had suffered most in the 



action at Quatre-Bras ; and behind all these was placed 
the cavalry. The position crossed the two highways 
from Nivelles and Charleroi to Brussels, nearly where they 
unite. These roads gave every facility for movement from 
front to rear during the action ; and two country roads 
running behind, and parallel with the first and second lines, 
favored movements from wing to wing. The chateau and 
gardens of Hougomont, and the farm-house and inclosures 
of La Haye Sainte, about i , 500 yards apart, on the slope 
of the declivity, were strongly occupied and formed the 
important out-works of defense. The opening of the 
country road leading directly from Wavre to Mont St. Jean, 
through the wood of Ohain, was guarded hy the British 
left, while those running further in advance might be 
expected to bring the first of the Prussians on the 
right flank of the French, during their expected attack. 
The British front extended in all over about a mile, with 
the strong outposts of Hougomont (situated near the 
centre of the right) and La Haye (which was in front of 
the centre) and in the rear the village of Mont St. Jean 
with the reserve force stationed there, — further back, the 
town of Waterloo (which has given its name to the battle 
because it was thence that the English general dated his 
dispatches) — and the forest of Soignies, as positions to 
retire upon, to make a stand or cover a retreat. A more 
advantageous ground for receiving an attack could not 
easily be obtained in any open country, not previously 
fortified. It was, therefore, sufficiently evident that the 
Duke of Wellington had availed himself of all these means 
of defense, by a circumspect and masterly disposition of 
his forces. 


It was Wellington's design to hold Napoleon at bay 
until the Prussian advance should enable him to charge 
the French with superior numbers, while it was Napoleon's 
wish to beat the Anglo-Belgian army, or at least to divide 
it, as well as to cut off its communications, ere Blucher 
could arrive on the field. 

Napoleon hoped to turn the left wing of the Duke's 
army, it being the weakest, and divide it from the right 
wing because he should thus intercept its junction with 
the Prussians by the road from Wavre, — and because he 
was in constant expectation of being joined himself by 
Grouchy from that side. Having effected this separation 
of the wings, and made a vigorous attack on both wings 
to distract the attention, it was his design to fall suddenly 
on the centre, break it, and rout all its component parts 
in detail. The Duke considered it his businesss to defeat, 
if possible, all these attempts ; not to venture a general 
attack in return, but to hold his defensive position in the 
most cautious and determined manner until the arrival of 

The Emperor had in the field 72,000 men, all French 
veterans — each of whom was, as he declared, worth one 
Englishman and two Prussians, Dutch or Belgians, Napo- 
leoh's forces, however, unlike those of Wellington's, had 
been on the march all through the tempestuous darkness, 
many of them had not had suflScient food, and the greater 
part of them did not reach the heights of I^a Belle Alliance 
until the morning of the i8th was considerably advanced. 
The Duke's followers had by that time had relreshment 
and some hours of repose. 

At I o'clock in the morning, the Emperor having 
issued the necessary orders for the battle during the earlier 


part of the night, went out on foot, accompanied by his 
grand marshal, and visited the whole line of the main 
guards. The forest of Soignies, occupied by the British, 
appeared as one continued blaze, while the horizon between 
that spot and the farms of I^a Belle Alliance and I^a Haye 
Sainte, was brightened by the fires of numerous 
bivouacs ; the most profcMmd silence reigning. Some time 
later the rain began to fall in torrents. Napoleon feared 
more than anything else that Wellington would continue 
his retreat on Brussels and Antwerp, — thus deferring the 
great battle until the Russians should approach the valley 
of the Rhine. The night of June 17-18, often called the 
"Vigil of Waterloo" was solemn, dark and without 
unusual incident during the early hours. Several officers 
sent to reconnoitre, and others who returned to head- 
quarters at half-past three, announced that the British had 
made no movement. At 4 o'clock the scouts brought in 
a peasant, who had served as a guide to a brigade of 
English cavalry which had proceeded to secure a position 
on the left at the village of Ohain. Two Belgian deserters, 
who had just quitted their regiments, also reported that 
their army was preparing for a battle ; and that no 
retrograde movement had taken place ; that Belgium 
prayed for the success of the Bmperor, as the Knglish and 
Prussians were alike unpopular. 

The French troops bivouacked amidst deep mud and 
the officers thought it impossible to give battle on the 
following day ; the ground being so moistened that 
artillery and cavalry could not possibly manoeuvre, while 
it would require twelve hours of fine weather to dry the 
soil. On reaching the eminence of La Belle Alliance at 
sunrise, and beholding the enemy drawn up on the 


opposite side and in battle array, the Emperor exclaimed, 
with, evident joy, "At last ! at last, then, I have these 
English in my grasp ! " And yet, at this time, his exer- 
tions had been most phenomenal, and he was far from 
being in the physical condition necessary for such a contest 
as he had every reason to expect. He had been eighteen 
hours in the saddle on June 15th, and had slept but three 
hours before the battle of Ligny. On the i6th he was 
again for eighteen hours on horseback. On the 1 7th he 
rose at five in the morning and that night was almost con- 
tinually astir. 

The Emperor's breakfast was served at 8 o'clock and 
many officers ot distinction were present. " The enemy's 
army" said Napoleon, " is superior to ours by nearly a 
fourth ; there are, nevertheless, ninety chances in our 
favor, to ten against us. ' ' The Emperor now mounted his 
horse, and rode forward to reconnoitre the English lines ; 
after which he remained thoughtful for a few moments, 
and then dictated the order of battle. It was written 
down by two generals seated on the ground, after which 
two aides-de-camp promptly distributed it among the 
different corps. The army moved forward in eleven 
columns, and as they decended from the heights of I^a- 
Belle Alliance the trumpets played "To the Field !" and 
the bands alternately struck up airs which recalled the 
memories of many victories. 

The French line of battle was formed in front of 
Planchenois, having the heights of I^a Belle Alliance in the 
rear of its centre. The forces were drawn up in six lines, 
on each side of the causeway of Charleroi. The first and 
second lines were of infantry, having the light cavalry 
at each of its wings, so as to unite them with the six lines 


of the main force. The artillery was placed in the 
intervals between the brigades. All the troops were in 
their stations by about 10:30 o'clock. 

Amidst this mass of men there was an almost painful 
silence until the Emperor rode through the ranks when 
he was received with the utmost enthusiasm ; then, giving 
his last orders, he galloped to the heights of Rossome, 
which commanded a complete view of both armies below, 
with a considerable range on each side beyond. 

While Napoleon's design for making his grand attack 
from the centre, on I^a Haye Sainte, — which was directly 
in front of the enemy's centre, — was preparing, he gave 
orders for the commencement of the battle. 

The grand attack on the centre of the Anglo-Belgian 
army was to be made by Marshal Ney. The marshal had 
sent word to Napoleon that everything was ready, and he 
only awaited the order to begin. Before giving it Napoleon 
looked over the field of battle and the surrounding 
countr}^, — the last he was ever tocontest. He then perceived 
a dark mass at a distance in the direction of St. I^ambert, 
where he had ordered Grouchy to send a detachment. The 
glasses of all the ofl&cers were instantly turned towards the 
object. Some thought it only a mass of dark trees. To 
remove all doubts the Emperor dispatched General Dau- 
montjwith a body of three thousand light cavalry, to form a 
junction with them if they were the troops of Grouchy, or 
to keep them in check if they were hostile. Through a 
Prussian hussar, who was brought in a prisoner, it was 
learned that the dark mass was the advanced guard of 
Bulow, who was coming up with thirty thousand fresh men; 
that Blucher was at Wavres with his army, and that 
Grouchy had not appeared there. 


A messenger was immediately dispatched to Marshal 
Grouchy, to march on St. Lambert, without a moment's 
delay, and take Bulow's division in the rear. It was 
believed that Grouchy must be near at hand, whether he 
had received the various orders sent him or not, as he 
himself had sent word that he should leave Gembloux in 
the morning, and from this place to Wavres was only 
three leagues distance. 

Napoleon had a high opinion of Grouchy and his 
punctuality, he being an officer of great experience ; but 
the Emperor was in a state of great suspense on account 
of his failure to hear from him. He now ordered Count 
lyobau to follow and support the cavalry of Daumont, and 
to take up a strong position, where, with ten thousand 
men, he might keep thirty thousand in check ; also to 
redouble the attack directly he found that Grouchy had 
arrived on the rear of the Prussians. Napoleon thus early 
found himself deprived of the services of ten thousand 
men on this grand field of battle. These events caused 
some change in his first plans, being deprived of the 
men whom he was thus obliged to send against Gen- 
eral Bulow. 

" We had ninety chances for us in the morning," said 
Napoleon to Soult ; "but the arrival of Bulow reduces 
them to thirty ; we have still, however, sixty against 
forty ; and if Grouchy repairs the horrible fault he has 
committed by amusing himself at Gembloux, victory will 
therefore be more decisive for the corps of Bulow must 
in that case be entirely lost. ' ' 

It was now 11:30 o'clock and the Emperor at once 
turned his attention to the main attack and sent word to 
Ney to begin his movement. Instantly one hundred and 


twenty pieces of artillery were unmasked. Then the 
French opened their fire of musketry on the advanced 
post of Hougomont and Jerome Bonaparte, under cover 
of its fire, charged impetuously on the Nassau troops in 
the wood about the house- They were driven before the 
French, but a party of English guards instantly unmasked 
forty pieces of cannon and maintained themselves in the 
chateau and garden, despite the desperate character of 
many repeated assaults. Jerome, masking the post thus 
resolutely held, pushed on his cavalry and artillery against 
Wellington's right. The English formed in squares to 
receive them and defied all their efforts. For some time 
both parties opposed each other here, without either 
gaining or losing a foot of ground. At length the 
English forced back the French, and the garrison of 
Hougomont was relieved and strengthened. There was 
great loss on the side of the British, owing to the sudden- 
ness of the attack, and the fixed position and dense array 
of the squares. The loss of the French was also consid- 
erable ; and as the squares remained unbroken, no 
apparent advantage was gained by the assault. 

The French, being again repelled, a communication was 
reopened with Hougomont and the small body of English 
guards, defending the chateau, received a reinforcement 
under Colonel Hepburn. The garrison of Hougomont 
now made a combined charge; and, after a furious 
struggle, in which the utmost valor, both individual and 
collective was displayed on either side, drove back the 
French once more out of the wood, and recovered the 
position. The French in their turn rallied, — returned 
with renewed vigor, — and the English were now dis- 
lodged and driven out with great slaughter. They rallied 


in turn and immediately re turned, and again they recovered 
the position. The French charged again but the martial 
spirit of the Knglish guards was now wrought up to the 
highest pitch, and all the attempts of the assailants to dis- 
lodge them proved unavailing. This contest lasted 
through the greater part of the day. The killed and 
wounded on both sides during the struggle for this single 
outpost has been estimated at upwards of four thousand. 

The Emperor, calmly observing the whole from the 
heights, praised the valor of the English guards highly. 
He now ordered Hougomont to be attacked by a battery of 
howitzers and shells. The roofs and barns then took fire, 
and the remnant of the English guards remaining were 
obliged to retreat before the flames, over the mingled heaps 
of dead and dying bodies of their comrades and assailants. 

The first onslaught of the French made a series of 
dreadful gaps along the whole of the enemy's left and one 
of its divisions was completely swept away. The gaps were 
quickly filled by fresh men, however, as a column of French 
began to advance. Before it could be supported a grand 
charge of English cavalry was made, which broke the 
column o.f French infantry, routed it, and took two 
eagles and several pieces of cannon. While the English 
were wheeling off triumphantly, they were met by a 
brigade of Milhaud's cuirassiers. A desperate conflict 
ensued at sword's length, the combat lasting much beyond 
the usual time, the result of a meeting of two bodies of 
cavalry being generally determined in a few minutes. 
A quartermaster of the lancers, named Urban, rushed into 
the thickest of the fight, and took prisoner the brave 
Ponsonby, commander of the 1,200 Scotch dragoons, - 
called the ' ' Scotch Greys, ' ' from the color of their horses. 


The Scotch sought to free their general but Urban struck 
him dead at his feet ; he was then attacked by several 
dragoons, but instantly rushing at the holder of the 
standard of the 45 th he unhorsed him with a blow of his 
lance, killed him with a second, seized the colors, killed 
another of the Scotch who pursued him close, and then, 
covered with blood, returned to his colonel with the trophy 
which had but a short time before been captured from 
Marcognet's division. 

Desperate charges of infantry and cavalry now followed 
in rapid succession, the immediate object of the French 
being the occupation of the outpost of the Anglo-Belgian 
army at the farm of I^a Haye Sainte, and thence to push 
on to the farm of Mont St. Jean. Some of the Scotch 
regiments made a gallant defense, but were overpowered ; 
the 5th and 6th English divisions were nearly destroyed, 
and General Picton, who commanded the English left, was 
laid dead on the field. 

The French eventually carried La Haye Sainte; a 
body of their infantry pushed forward beyond the farm, 
and overwhelmed and scattered several regiments ; but 
were charged in their turn by two brigades of English 
foot and heavy cavalry and routed. In consequence of 
this the farm of La Haye Sainte was vigorously assaulted 
by the English ; and with the assistance of cannon and, 
shells, was recovered. 

This important post was taken and retaken several 
times, with an energy that never relaxed on either side. 
An error in tactics, of which Ney and d'Erlon had been 
guilty, had left four or five columns of French infantry at 
the mercy of the enemy's cavalry, and cost them 3,000 
men in dead, wounded and prisoners. The English had 


lost part of their dragoons, partofKemptand Pack's cav- 
alry, and Generals Picton and Ponsonby, — all amounting 
to about the same mumber as the French had lost; but the 
English had maintained their position and the whole 
operation was to be recommenced under the disadvantage 
of having foiled in the first attempt. 

The French were still masters of a part of I^a Haye 
Sainte farm and were rallying again on the side of the 
valley which lay between them and the English. Napoleon 
joined them, and walked in front of their ranks midst 
bullets rebounding from one line to another, and howitzers 
resounding in the air, General Desvaux, commander of 
the artillery of the Guard being killed at his side. 

During these assaults on the centre of the British line, 
the French cuirassiers had advanced to the charge in the 
face of a terrific fire from the artillery in front of the 
British infantry. The infantry awaited it, formed in a 
double line of squares, placed checkerwise, so that the 
sides of each square could fire a volley on the advancing 
cavalry, and protected in front by a battery of thirty field- 
pieces. The French cuirassiers rode up to the very 
mouths of the cannon, charged the artillerymen, drove 
them from their guns, and then rode fiercely on the squares 
behind. These remained steadfast, withholding their fire 
until the French were within a few yards of their bayonets, 
and then opened on them with deadly effect. The cavalry 
was all but broken, then rallied and renewed their charge. 
This they did several times, and always with the same result. 
Sometimes they even rode between the squares, and 
charged those of the second line. As the cuirassiers 
retired the artillerymen rushed from behind the squares, 


formed four deep, maimed their guns, and fired grape-shot 
with terrible effect on the retreating body of gallant but 
ineflfective cavalry. 

At length protracted exposure to such a murderous fire 
completed the ruin of these fearless cavaliers, the far 
greater part being annihilated in this part of the battle. 

When the relics of the cuirassiers at last withdrew, the 
French cannonade opened up furiously once more all along 
the line. It was vigorously re turned, but the effect was far 
more devastating amidst the British ranks than in those 
of their assailants. The English were then commanded 
by Wellington to lie fiat on the ground for some space, in 
order to diminish its effects. The Duke had by this time 
lost 10,000 men and Napoleon possibly a few more. 

It was now 4 o'clock and about this time the Emperor 
received intelligence from Gembloux, that, notwithstand- 
ing his repeated orders. Marshal Grouchy had not left 
his encampment at that place till after 10 o'clock in the 
morning, in consequence, it was said, of the state of the 
weather. The body of ten thousand men, under Count 
lyobau and General Daumont, were now in action with the 
Prussians under Bulow, near St. Lambeth. The can- 
nonade continued for considerable time ; the Prussian 
centre was then attacked and beaten back, but its wings 
advancing. Count Lobau was obliged to retire. 

At this crisis Napoleon dispatched General Dufre^e, 
with two brigades of infantry of the young guard, and 
twenty -four pieces of cannon, and the Prussian advance 
was checked. They still endeavored to out-flank the 
French right, when several battalions of the Old Guard, 
with sixteen pieces of cannon, were sent forward ; the 
Prussian line was then out-flanked, and Bulow driven back. 


At about 5 o'clock Count d' Krlon had taken possession 
of the village of Ter-la-Haye ; out-flanking the English 
left and Bulow's right. It appears that Count Milhaud's 
cuirassiers — which Ney had so often led against the enemy, 
and who were behind d' Erlon — and the Chasseurs of the 
Guard, supported by an incessant fire from the infantry 
of General lyefebvre-Desnoettes, dashed across the plain 
beyond the farm of I^a Haye Sainte. The advance of 
eight regiments and four brigades of their formidable 
horsemen created a great sensation, as it was believed the 
final moment was come. As General Milhaud passed 
before Lefebvre-Desnoettes, he grasped his hand and said, 
' ' I am going to charge, support me ! ' ' The commander 
of the light cavalry of the Guard believed it was by order 
of the Emperor he was desired to support the cuirassiers, 
and following their movement he took up a position behind 
them. It was Ney's belief, as he had said to Druot, that 
were he allowed to act he could, unaided, with such a 
body of noble cavalry at his disposal, now put an end to 
the English army. 

A fierce struggle ensued in which Ney had some 
advantage over the English, but not what had been 
expected. He now hastened towards Lefebvre-Desnoettes, 
niade a signal to advance, and precipitated him on the 
Duke of Wellington's English and German cavalry. This 
charge allowed the somewhat disorganized cuirassiers time 
to form again, and they, with the chasseurs and lancers, fell 
again upon the English cavalry. Thousands of hand-to- 
hand conflicts now were in progress, ending in the enemy 
retreating behind the squares of the English infantry, thus 
stopping the onward progress of the French horsemen. 


Ney had two horses killed under him, but he was still 
determined to fulfill his vow to break the English lines. 
Observing now, on the other side of the plateau, 3,000 
cuirassiers and 2,000 mounted grenadiers of theGuard that 
had not been yet engaged, the Marshal asked that they be 
given him to complete the victory. 

About 6 o'clock there was disorder in a great part of 
the Duke of Wellington's army. The ranks were thinned 
by the number killed, by those carried off wounded, and 
by desertions. Soldiers of various nations, Belgian, 
Hanoverian and English ' ' crowded to the rear ' ' and fled 
in a panic from this dreadful action. "A number of 
our own dismounted dragoons" says Captain Pringle, 
' ' together with a portion of our infantry, were glad to 
escape from the field. These thronged the road leading 
to Brussels, in a manner that none but an eye-witness 
could have believed." 

Cries of " Victory !" now resounded from the French 
over different parts of the field. Napoleon on hearing this, 
observed, — ' ' It is an hour too soon ; but we must support 
what is done." He then sent an order for a grand 
charge of three thousand cuirassiers under Kellerman on 
the left, and who were to move forward briskly and support 
the cavalry on the low grounds. 

A distant cannonade was now heard in the direction of 
Wavres. It announced the approach of Grouchy — or 
Blucher ! 

At 12:30 o'clock Grouchy was midway between 
Gembloux and Wavres. The tremendous cannonade of 
Waterloo resounded from the distance. General Excel- 
mans rode up to the marshal, and told him that " he was 
convinced that the Emperor must be in action with the 


Anglo-Belgian army ; that so terrible a fire could not be 
an affair of outposts or skirmishing ; and that they ought 
to march to the scene of action, which, by turning to the 
left, they might reach within two hours. ' ' 

Grouchy paused awhile, and then reverted to his orders 
to follow Blucher, although he did not know where Blucher 
really was. Count Girard came up, and joined in the 
advice of General Kxcelmans. Still Grouchy remained 
doubtful, and as if stupefied. "At one moment" says 
Hazlitt "he appeared convinced ; but just then a report 
came that the Prussians were at Wavres, and he set out 
once more after them," instead of instantly hurrying off" 
to join the Emperor in his great battle. 

It was a rear-guard which Blucher had left at Wavres ; 
and the Prussian leader had gone to Waterloo, at the head 
of 30,000 men, having been advised, as previously stated, 
that the Duke of Wellington would hazard a battle on the 
morning of the i8th, if he could depend on the co-opera- 
tion of the Prussians. The veteran marshal, at an early 
hour, had detached the corps of Bulow, with orders to 
march on St. Lambert, leaving Mielman with his corps at 

The Duke had expected to be joined by Blucher as 
early as 11 o'clock; but the roads were in such a 
condition that the Prussians could not accomplish the 
march in any such time as had been calculated. Their 
advance was necessarily slow, — but it was in the right 
direction ! 

Meanwhile, the Emperor on the battlefield of Waterloo, 
had reluctantly ordered the charge of Kellerman's three 
thousand cuirassiers, asked for by Ney, to sustain and 
follow up the advantage of the cuirassiers of Milhaud and 


the chasseurs of the Guard, on the plain below. The 
marshal's contest had been carefully watched by Napo- 
leon who declared at once that Ney was too impatient, 
and had begun an hour too soon. ' ' This man is always 
the same. ' ' said Marshal Soult. ' ' He will compromise 
everything as he did at Jena and Eylau. ' ' 

Kellerman was now all ready for action, but he con- 
demned the desperate use which at this moment was to be 
made of the cavalry. Distrusting the result, he kept 
back one of his brigades, the carbineers, and most 
unwillingly sent the remainder to Ney, whom he accused 
of foolish zeal. 

These twenty squadrons, led on by their generals and 
ofl&cers, now advanced at full gallop as if in pursuit of 
the English army, shouting, " Vive 1' Empereur ! " and 
under the cannonade of the Prussians, for Bulov/ was still 
pressing upon the flank and rear. Other bodies of 
cavalry also advanced upon the centre of the Anglo- 
Belgian army, making a spectacle which General Foy, an 
eye-witness, afterwards declared that during his long 
military career he had never been present at such a fearful 
scene as he then beheld. 

While Napoleon was watching their several charges, 
General Guy of s division of heavy cavalry was seen 
following the cuirassiers of Kellerman. This latter move- 
ment was without the Emperor's orders, and seems to 
have been the result of ungovernable excitement on the 
part of the officers and men, who thought they could 
finish the battle by a coup de main. 

The Emperor instantly sent Count Bertrand to recall 
them ; but it was too late ! The cavalry, once started, 
nothing could arrest its rush — thej^ were in action before 
the order could reach them ; and to recall them now 
would have been dangerous, even if possible. This 

by . 



division was the reserve, and ought by all means to have 
been held back. Thus was the Kniperar deprived of his 
reserve of cavalry as early as 5 o'clock. 

It is said that during the preparation of this grand 
charge of 12,000 French cavalry, — the finest in the world, 
— the Duke of Wellington ran forward with his glass in 
front of the lines, amidst the hot fire which preceded the 
charge. He was reminded that he was exposing himself 
too much. "Yes," said the Duke, "I know I am, — 
but I must see what they are doing. ' ' To an officer who 
asked for instructions in case he should be slain, he 
answered ; "I have no instructions to give ; there is only 
one thing to be done — to fight to the last man and the last 
moment !" 

Some years later the Duke said, ' ' I have never seen 
anything more admirable in war than those ten or twelve 
reiterated charges of the French cuirassiers upon our 
troops of all arms. ' ' 

It was obvious to the English commander, as he viewed 
this splendid spectacle, that unless this last and decisive 
onset should drive him from the post which he had con- 
tinued to hold during nearly seven hours of intermitting 
battle, his allies would come fully into the field and give 
him a vast superiority of numbers wherewith to close the 
work of the day. The Duke now decided to sacrifice the 
remainder of his cavalry, and he moved them forward to 
meet the shock of the advancing foe. 

The matchless body of French cavalry continued to dash 
forward towards the hostile, lines, in successive masses, 
and with all the triumphant fury of a charge upon a 
retreating enemy. Breaking through many squares of 
infantry, overthrowing the opposing cavalry, and over- 
whelming the artillery in front of the lines, they were 
received by the squares of British infantry, first with a 



volley of musket-balls, and then upon the immovable 
array of bristling bayonets. Men and horses, struggling 
in the agonies of violent death, bestrewed the ground. In 
his extremity Wellington determined on employing Cum- 
berland's one thousand hussars, who had not yet been 
engaged ; but at sight of this scene of slaughter the 
hussars fell back in disorder. 

The resistance of the Duke was most stubborn but 
Ney still hoped to destroy the English army at the point 
of the sword by keeping up a continued charge, having 
been reinforced by the heavy cavalry of the Guard whose 
advance had been made apparently without orders. 

Meanwhile Ney, seeing Kellerman's carbineers in 
reserve, hastened to where they were, asked what they 
were doing and then, despite Kellerman's resistance, led 
them to the front where they succeeded in making fresh 
breaches in the British infantry, but were unable to get 
beyond the second line. 

For the eleventh time Ney led on his 10,000 horse to 
the attack. The cuirassiers wheeled about, reformed, 
and again charged with tremendous energy, and a valor 
that set at contemptuous defiance the tempest of grape- 
shot, and balls of the artillery and musketry which 
opposed their advance. Men rolled off, and horses fell 
plunging ; even pistols were discharged in their faces, 
and swords thrust over their bayonets in vain. The 
British infantry, though shaken for a moment again 
closed their ranks, fell into line and continued to fire. 
About this time Ney was heard to say to General d' Brlon, 
" Be sure, my friend, that for you and me, if we do not 
die here under the Knglish balls, nothing remains but to 
fall miserably under those of the emigres." To his 


artillery a few moments before he had said, "It is here, 
my friends, that the fate of our country is about to be 
decided ; it is here that we must conquer in order to secure 
our independence!" 

The Emperor, who was now suffering great bodily pain, 
scarcely able to sit upon his horse, and falling at times 
into a sort of lethargy, was much moved by this spectacle. 
He had never before commanded in person against the 
English soldiery ; but he knew them now — when it was 
too late ! He observed their wonderful self-command, and 
unflinching courage, and praised it ; — ^but it was his ruin ! 

Again and again did the brilliant cavalry of the French 
rush forward to the charge with redoubled fury. They 
frequently passed between the squares of the first line 
amidst their united cross-fire from front and rear, and 
charged the squares of the second line whose fire they also 
received, but no general effect was produced, no real 
advantage gained beyond an occasional breaking of the 
squares in both lines, particularly the second. The 
baffled cuirassiers were always obliged to retire, receiving 
the terrible cross-fire of the squares as they passed between 
them and followed by a volley of musketry and often by 
the grape-shot of the artillery. 

Four thousand of the French cavalry now strewed the 
ground, while 10,000 English, horse and foot had laid 
down their lives. Many were the deeds of individual 
gallantry performed by officers and men on both sides, 
among cavalry and infantry all over the field. During 
the conflict Colonel Heymes hastened to Napoleon to ask 
for the infantry of which Nev was in need. ' ' Infantry ! ' ' 
cried the Emperor, with considerable irritation, " where 
does he suppose I can get them ? Does he expect me to 


make them ? You can see the task before me, and you 
see what troops I have ! ' ' When the Emperor's irritation 
had somewhat subsided he sent another message to Ney, 
more hopeful than the former. He made Colonel Heymes 
tell the marshal that if he were in a difficult position at 
Mont St. Jean, he was himself in still greater difficulties 
on the banks of the Lasne, where he was opposed by the 
entire Prussian army, but when he had repelled, or even 
checked them, he, with the Guard, would hasten to 
complete the conquest of the English ; until then the 
plateau was to be held at any cost for an hour when he 
might reckon on reinforcements. 

The desperate assaults of the French cavalry ought to 
have been supported by strong bodies of infantry ; they 
could not, however, be spared, being needed for the con- 
test with Bulow, on the French right and to prevent his 

By 7 o'clock, Bulow' s corps of 30,000 men was success- 
fully repulsed, and Count lyobau, with 10,000 men, 
occupied the positions from which the Prussian general 
had been driven. 

Still the French cavalry could do no more than maintain 
itself on the plateau from which the Duke's 36,000 men had 
made a slight retrograde movement. A fresh cannonade 
was opened by the French along the British line, after the 
assaults of the cuirassiers, but no further advance was 
attempted by the former. As one authority truly says, 
the British were beaten to a stand-still — hit there they 
stood ! It was, in effect, a drawn battle up to this time. 

There was not the least demonstration on the part of 
the Duke of Wellington to make any general advance 
during this almost interminable contest, — nor had there 


been all day, — and as little sign of Ws moving back. 
About twenty thousand men had already been killed, or 
otherwise lost, on each side. 

It was now nearly 7 o'clock. The distant cannonade, 
which had been faintly heard in the direction of Wavres, 
opened nearer at hand. It was the announcement, — not 
of the arrival of Grouchy, in the rear of Bulow's division ; 
but that of the two columns of Blucher, amounting to 
about 31,000 fresh troops ! 

The relative strength of the two armies, allowing 
twenty thousand as lost on both sides, was now consider- 
ably over two to one against the French, — the majority 
on the other side being chiefly composed of fresh men. 
Wellington was heard to say during the day, * ' Would 
to God that Blucher or night would come ! ' ' and now both 
were at hand. 

The presence of mind of the Emperor now became most 
alert, and it was never so clearly manifested as at this 
critical moment when everything hung in the balance. 

The fresh army, advancing to the assistance of the 
Anglo-Belgian forces, was soon discovered by the French 
troops, who were in action on the field. The cavalry 
on the plain were waiting in constant expectation of 
the Emperor's orders for the advance of his reserves 
of the infantry of the Guard. They were not alarmed 
when they saw the communication finally effected 
between Bulow and the English, but when they perceived 
the approach of the dense columns of Blucher, they were 
confounded, and several regiments began to fall back. 

Napoleon now sent his aides-de camp along the whole 
line to announce the arrival of succor, and that Blucher' s 
advance was only a retreat before Grouchy, who was 


pressing on his rear. It was a clever ruse, and warranted 
by the situation in which he now found himself, as it 
momentarily revived the spirits of the weary troops to a 
wonderiul degree. 

At the head of four battalions of the infantry of the 
Guard, the Kmperor now advanced on the left in front of 
L,a Haye Sainte. He ordered General Reille to concentrate 
the whole of his corps near Hougomont and make an 
attack. He then sent General Friant to support the 
cavalry on the plain with four battalions of the middle 
guard. If, by sudden charge, they could break and 
disorder the centre of the British line before the columns 
of Blucher could force their way into the plain, a last 
chance of success still remained. Blucher was hurrAdng 
on to La Haye ; there was not a moment to lose ! 

The attack was made, the infantry drove back all that 
opposed them, and repeated charges of the French cavalry 
disordered the hostile ranks. Presently some battalions 
of the Old Guard came up. They too were going to the 
attack to retrieve the ground lost by the young guard 
who had fallen back, for, as Thiers says, "It is the 
privilege of the Old Guard to repair every disaster. ' ' The 
Emperor ranged his veterans by brigades ; two battalions 
being in line, and two in column. As he rode along in 
front of these battle-scarred battalions, he said, ' ' My 
friends, the decisive moment is come ; it will not do to fire ; 
you must come hand to hand with the enemy, and drive 
them back at the point of the bayonet into the ravine 
whence they have issued to threaten the army, the Empire 
and France." 

General Friant was now carried by, wounded. He said 
that all was going well, but that the attack could not be 


successful till the balance of the Guard were employed. 
This movement could not be effected on the instant and in 
a few minutes it was too late, as the Prussians were coming 
up in great numbers. The British still stood on the 
defensive and Blucher had reached the village of La Haye. 
A violent struggle now ensued, but it was of brief dura- 
tion ; the overwhelming mass of fresh men soon bore down 
all opposition. 

The Duke of Wellington now prepared,— for the first 
time during the day, — to advance his entire line. He was 
aware that th^ decisive moment was at hand and that his 
safety, as well as that of his gallant men, depended on this 
last effort. 

A panic soon seized some of the French soldiers, 
exhausted and maddened by the terrible strain they had 
undergone during the day, and at the sudden appearance 
before them of the dark mass of fresh assailants, the cry 
of " Sauve qui pent ! " ( Kvery man for himself!) was 
raised. The disorder soon became general and the men 
fled as the columns of Prussians poured into the plain. 

Napoleon instantly changed the front of the Guard so 
as to throw its left on La Haye Sainte and its right on 
La Belle Alliance ; he then met the fugitives and led them 
back to their post. They atonce faced the Prussians, whom 
they immediately charged. The fresh brigade of the 
English cavalry from Ohain arrived at this crisis and forced 
their way between General Reille's corps and the Guard, 
to their utter separation. The Emperor now ordered his 
four reserve squadrons to charge the fresh brigade of 
English cavalry but their attack met with no success. As 
he was leading the four battalions destined to their place 
of attack on the Charleroi road he met Ney, who was 


greatly excited, and who declared that the cavalry would 
certainly give way if a large reinforcement of infantry did 
not immediately arrive. Napoleon gave him the battalions 
he was bringing up and promised to send six more. 

The ranks of the French were now in general confusion 
all over the field. Napoleon had barely time to gallop 
into one of the squares of the Guard which still maintained 
its position; Ney, Jerome, Soult, Bertrand, Druot, 
Corbineau, de Flahaut, Labedoyere, Gourgaud and others 
drew their swords, became soldiers again and followed 
close to their chief's heels. They entered J;he square of 
the last battalion of reserve, — the illustrious and unfor- 
tunate remains of the ' ' granite column ' ' of the fields 
of Marengo, who had remained unshaken amidst the 
tumultuous waves of the army. The old grenadiers, 
incapable of fear for themselves, were alarmed at the 
danger threatening the Emperor, and appealed to him to 
withdraw. " Retire " said one of them, " You see that 
death shuns you ! ' ' The Emperor resisted, and commanded 
them to fire. 

The four battalions of the Guard, and the cavalry which 
had so long held the plains below in opposition to the 
whole Anglo-Belgian army, were being rapidly depleted. 
Wellington had ordered Maitland's guards to fire on them 
at short range as they moved forward for the last time. The 
sudden shock did not cause the advancing soldiers to stop, 
but closing their ranks they continued to push on. They 
were soon beaten, however, by overwhelming numbers of 
cavalry, both English and Prussian, and were at last 
compelled to retire that they might not be cut ofi" from the 
centre of the army, while the enemy continued to advance, 
preceded by their artillery, which poured forth a most 
destructive fire. 


But one last effort to stem the torrent still remained. 
If the British centre could be broken, and their advance 
checked, some favorable chance was just possible. The 
Emperor therefore ordered the advance of the reserve 
infantry of the Imperial Guard, — the flower of his army. 
He exhorted them, by a hasty personal appeal, and 
confided the direction of their efforts to ' ' the bravest of the 
brave," who had had five horses killed under him and who 
now advanced on foot, sword in hand. The 2900 heroic stal- 
warts moved forward in two columns, headed by Ney, and 
supported by a heavy fire of artillery, while four battalions 
of the Old Guard, formed into squares, took post in their 
rear as a reserve and to protect the march of the columns. 

Either wing of the English had by this time 
advanced in consequence of the repulses of the French and 
their line now presented a concave. They were formed in 
an unbroken array, four deep, and as the French advanced 
poured on them a shower which never intermitted, each 
man firing as often as he could reload. Wellington gave 
the order to advance in the familiar and brusque terms of, 
' * Up guards and at them ! ' ' The English wings kept 
moving on all the while ; and when the heads of the 
French columns, who continued to advance till within 
forty or fifty yards, approached to this point, they were 
met with such a storm of musketry in front, and on either 
flank, that they in vain endeavored to deploy into line for 
the attack, under a terrific and unremitting fire. They 
stopped to make this attempt, reeled, lost order, and the 
800 men who were left standing fled at last in one mass 
of confusion. 

The Duke of Wellington now dismounted, placed 
himself at the head of his line and led his men against the 


remaining numbers of four battalions of the Old Guard — • 
the only unbroken troops remaining behind, while Ney 
was striving to rally his fugitives. His cocked hat was 
gone, and his clothes were literally riddled with bullets, 
though he himself remained untouched. The intrepid 
marshal, at Wellington's approach, took part once more 
in the melee, sword in hand, and on foot. But nothing 
could withstand the impetuous assault of the victorious 

Napoleon, who had watched this last terrible contest 
from the heights of lya Belle Alliance suddenly exclaimed, 
" They are mingled together, all is lost for the present," 
and accompanied by but three or four ofl&cers, he gave 
the signal for retreat and hurried to the left of Planchenois, 
to a second position, where he had placed a regiment of 
the Guard, with two batteries in reserve. 

The four battalions of the Old Guard, under General 
Cambronne, still remained to protect the retreat of the 
French army. If they could succeed in holding the 
British in check, and prevent their advance during 
half an hour longer, darkness would enable the army to 
retreat in safety, and partially recover its disorder by 
morning. The Old Guard formed in square, flanked by a 
few pieces of artillery, and by a brigade of red lancers. 
" The Duke of Wellington " says Captain Pringle," now 
ordered his whole line to advance and attack their posi- 
tion." They advanced to the charge in embattled array, 
condensed and tremendous, against the remnant of noble 
veterans of that old Imperial Guard, which, during 
twenty years of slaughterous wars, had never once been 
vanquished. Gathering round the standards of their 
former glory, they received the dreadful onset with souls 


prepared for death. Nothing could now withstand the 
vigor of the attack of the British soldiers who thus had an 
opportunity to relieve their breasts of the heavy burden 
they had borne all day when compelled, for hours, to 
stand the fierce attacks of the French, being frequently 
driven back, and never making an advance. 

The Old Guard, as was to be expected, were beaten 
down, — slaughtered. Their general, Cambronne, was 
called upon to surrender by some British officers who 
seemed to revolt at the uneven contest. The only reply 
made by him was, — not the generally believed, but 
inaccurate declaration recorded by some historians, ' ' The 
Old Guard dies, but does not surrender !" but was a single 
word of military jargon frequently used by French 
soldiers. Almost immediately afterwards he fell from his 
horse, cut down by a fragment of a shell striking him on 
the head ; but he would not allow his men to leave their 
ranks to bear him away. 

Once more these heroes, now reduced to but one 
hundred and fifty men, are commanded to surrender ; 
' ' We will not yield ! ' ' they answer back, and discharg- 
ing their muskets for the last time, rush on the cavalry 
and with their bayonets, kill many men and horses, and 
then sink to the earth exhausted or in death. 

The Old Guard was destroyed, ^not defeated! The 
advancing British troops rode over their prostrate bodies 
piled in ghastly heaps, — a monument to their valor and 
heroism, even in death. Ney, bareheaded, his clothes 
hanging in shreds, and with his broken sword in his hand, 
seeing a handful of his followers still remaining, ran 
forward to lead them against a Prussian column that was 
pursuing them. As the fearless marshal threw himself 


once more into the fray he exclaimed, ' * Come my friends ; 
come see how a marshal of France can die!" But his 
time had not come : he was not destined to die upon the 
battlefield. His small band was soon overpowered and 
scarcely two hundred escaped death. RuUiere, who 
commanded the battalion, broke the flag-staff, hid the 
eagle beneath his coat, and followed Ney who had been 
unhorsed for the fifth time, but who was still unwounded. 
Under cover of the darkness they made their escape. 

The Emperor attempted to protect the retreat and rally 
the fugitives ; but it was now fast growing dark. The 
soldiers could not see him or they might have rallied, while 
many believed the report that he had been killed. ' * He is 
wounded," said some, "He is dead" cried others. 
Nothing could be heard above the uproar and hideous 
confusion that everywhere prevailed. The Prussian 
cavalry, supported by some battalions of infantry, and the 
whole of Bulow's corps, now advanced by the right of 

In a few minutes the Emperor was almost surrounded 
by hostile forces. He had formed the regiment into a 
square, and was still lingering, when Marshal Soult seized 
the bridle of his horse, exclaimed that he would not 
be killed, but taken prisoner, and, pulling him away, the 
Emperor at last yielded to his destiny ! Behind him on 
the battlefield lay 60,000 French, English and Prussians, 
dead or wounded. The battle of Waterloo was lost and 
this hitherto almost invincible warrior was obliged to 
gallop across the fields in the dark, amidst the whistling of 
the Prussian bullets, and detachments of their cavalry 
which were scouring the field in all directions. 


Napoleon was so fatigued, on the road to Genappe, 
that he would no doubt have fallen from his horse, had he 
not been supported by General Gourgaud and two other 
persons, who remained his only attendants for some time. 

Wellington and Blucher met about 10 o'clock, at the 
farm-house of L^a Belle Alliance, and after congratulating 
each other on the success of the day, the Prussian com- 
mander, whose men were still fresh, eagerly undertook to 
continue the pursuit during the night, while the English 
general halted to rest his weary men and care for the dead 
and wounded. 

The English loss on this eventful day was 100 officers 
slain and 500 wounded ; very many mortally. The Duke 
who was himself exposed to great danger throughout the 
day, and one other person, were the only two among his 
numerous staff who escaped unhurt. The enemy, accord- 
ing to their own accounts, lost over thirty thousand men, 
including Hanoverians, Belgian troops of Nassau, Bruns- 
wick, etc.; those of the English army alone amounted 
to 22,800 ; to which are to be added 8,000 to 10,000 
Prussians. Of the 72,000 men whom Napoleon headed 
in this, his 85th pitched battle and greatest defeat, not 
more than 30,000 were ever again collected in arms. The 
remainder were either killed or wounded on the battlefield, 
or deserted and fled separately to their homes, or were 
murdered by the Prussians who followed hard on the 
miserable and defenseless fugitives, cutting down all they 
overtook without resistance or mercy. 

Several French officers blew out their brains to escape 
their brutality and some of the veterans of the Imperial 
Guard, who lay wounded upon the battlefield, killed 
themselves when they heard the Emperor had lost the 


battle, in order that they might not fall into the hands of 
the enemy, or through remorse at the downfall of their 

Napoleon made a brief halt at Genappe, at about 1 1 
o'clock at night; but all his attempts to rally the frantic 
masses were in vain. He then continued his course 
towards Quatre-Bras, where he dismounted at a bivouac 
at about i o'clock in the morning. At Phillipville, he 
received news of Grouchy 's movements, and sent him 
word of the loss of Mont St. Jean, (Waterloo). 

At this point he caused orders to be dispatched to 
Generals Rapp, lyccourbe and I^amarque, to proceed by 
forced marches to Paris, and to commanders of fortified 
towns to defend themselves to the last extremity. He 
also dictated two letters to his brother Joseph, one to be 
communicated to the council of ministers relating imper- 
fectly the fatal issue of the day, and the other for his 
private perusal giving a faithful account of the total rout 
of the army, and declaring that he would soon have an 
army of 300,000 troops with which to oppose the enemy. 
The Duke of Bassano (Maret) and Baron Fleury now came 
up and greeted the Emperor who was much afiected at 
meeting them, and was scarcely able to suppress his emo- 
tions. He then prepared to set off in a calash, accom- 
panied by Bertrand. AtRocroi, where Napoleon stopped 
to take refreshments, his attendants appeared in a pitiable 
state ; their clothes were covered with blood and dust, 
their looks were haggard, and their eyes were filled with 
tears. Napoleon continued his journey to Paris, via 
lyaon, accompanied by two or three hundred fugitives, 
who had been collected to form an escort, arriving at the 
capital on the evening of the 20th of June. 


The ' ' military career ' ' of Napoleon Bonaparte having 
ended at Waterloo, but little remains to be added here. 
Other writers, especially those noble self-sacrificing friends 
who shared with the Exile his life at St. Helena, have told 
in detail of his weary hours on the rocks in the Atlantic 
Ocean, and a brief summary of the events which finally 
ended in Napoleon becoming a prisoner of .Sngland for 
life will only be recited. 

The arrival of the Emperor at Paris had been preceded by 
the news — received on June igth.of the victories at Charleroi 
and lyigny, and one hundred cannon had been fired in 
honor of his successes. On the morning of the 21st it 
became known that the Emperor had arrived the night 
before, at the Ely see. When he stopped at the flight of 
steps leading to the palace General Druot, who had accom- 
panied him exclaimed, ' ' All is lost ! " " Except honor, ' ' 
answered Napoleon quickly. He had not spoken before 
since leaving I^aon. 

Immediately on his arrival the Emperor was received 
by Caulaincourt — his censor in prosperity and real friend 
in adversity. To him he said, with head bowed by grief 
and fatigue, ' ' The army performed prodigies ; a panic 
seized it, and all was lost. Ney conducted himself like a 
madman ; he got my cavalry massacred. I can say no 


more — I must have two hours' rest, to enable me to prepare 
for business " ; " I am choking here ! " he exclaimed a 
moment later, laying his hand upon his heart. After 
ordering a bath, and a few moments silence he said : " My 
intention is to assemble the two Chambers in an imperial 
sitting and demand the means of saving the country. ' ' 

He was then informed that thejJeputies appeared hostile 
towards him, and were little disposed to grant his requests. 
While he remained in his bath the ministers and great 
officers of state hastened towards the Blysee. When 
they arrived, his clothes were still covered with dust, 
as he had left the field of Waterloo ; yet, exhausted 
by the fatigues of three battles, and the dreadful events of 
his flight and the hurry of his journey being still vivid in 
his mind, he gave a rapid but distinct view of the resources 
of the country, the strength already organized for resist- 
ance, and the far greater power still capable of development. 
Among his listeners were his brothers Joseph and Lucien. 

While consulting with his ministers, presided over by 
Joseph, on the morning of the 21st, as to what manner he 
should inform the Chambers of his great misfortune, news 
was received that both assemblies had met on learning of 
his defeat and resolutions passed, — one of which declared 
the State to be in danger, and the other that their own 
sittings be made permanent. Thus the Chamber of Repre- 
sentatives overturned the new constitution, and put aside 
the authority of the Kmperor. These resolutions were 
also adopted by the Chamber of Peers. lyUcien Bonaparte, 
andsome of Napoleon's more intimate friends, wished him 
to instantly put himself at the head of 6,000 of the Imperial 
Guard, who were then in the capital, and dissolve the 
Senate, which was unfriendly to him. The Kmperor, how- 


ever, was undecided ; as Ivucien said of him ever after 
that, ' * the smoke of Mont St. Jean had turned his brain. ' ' 

I^ate in the evening of the 21st Napoleon held a council 
to which the presidents and vice presidents of both 
Chambers were admitted, but no decision was arrived at. 
lyafayette, the friend of Washington, declared that nothing 
could be done until ' ' a great sacrifice could be made. ' ' 
The Emperor heard all in silence and broke up the meet- 
ing without having come to any decision. 

"I have often asked myself, ' ' said Napoleon to I^as Casas 
at St Helena, ' ' whether I have done for the French people 
all that they could expect of me — for that people did 
much for me. Will they ever know all that I suffered 
during the night that preceded my final decision? In 
that night of anguish and uncertainty, I had to choose 
between two great courses ; the one was to save France by 
violence, and the other to yield to the general impulse." 
He finally decided that abdication was the only step he 
could adopt, and his determination was taken. 

Early next morning — the 2 2d — the Chambers again met, 
and the necessity of the Emperor's abdication was 
discussed with vigor. It was demanded on all hands, 
and without any reservation or condition whatever. 
Finally, Lafayette instructed that word should be sent 
Napoleon that he would be given an hour in which to 
abdicate, and be told if he had not done so by that time he 
would be deposed. Between noon and i o'clock the 
abdication was signed and carried by Carnot to the 
Chamber of Peers, and by Fouche to the Chamber of 

When Fouche appeared, the Deputies were about to 
declare the Emperor deposed, and he saved them that 



trouble by producing the following proclamation, in the 
handwriting of Joseph Bonaparte, to whom it had been dic- 
tated, and addressed to the French people : 

' ' Frenchmen ! When I began war for the maintenance 
of the national independence, I relied upon the union of 
all efforts, all wills and all the national authorities. I had 
reason to hope for success, and I braved all the declarations 
of the powers against my person. Circumstances appear 
to be changed. I offer myself as a sacrifice to the hatred 
against France. May they prove sincere in their declar- 
ations, and to have aimed only at me ! My political life 
is ended. I proclaim my son under the title of Napoleon 
II., Emperor of the French, The present ministers will 
provisionally form the council of the Government. The 
interest which I take in my son induces me to recommend 
the the Chambers should immediately enact a law for 
the organization of a Regency ; unite together for the 
general safety, and to the end of securing your national 
independence. Done at the Palace of the Elysee, June the 

2 2d, 1815. NAPOI.EON." 

The Chambers had awaited this reply in a state of the 
greatest impatience in both houses. In the Chamber of 
Peers, Carnot, having received some exaggerated accounts 
of the force and success of Grouchy, endeavored to 
persuade the Assembly that the marshal must ere then 
have added 60,000 men at I^aon to Soult, the relics of 
Waterloo, thus forming an army capable, under proper 
guidance, of yet effectually retrieving the affairs of France. 

Ney, who had arrived in Paris the same morning, 
declared otherwise. "Grouchy" said he, " cannot have 
more than twenty, or at most, more than twenty-five 
thousand men ; and as to Soult, I myself commanded the 
Guard in the last assault — I saw them all massacred 
before I left the field. Be assured there is but one course, — 
negotiate and recall the Bourbons. In their return I see 


nothing but the certainty of being shot as a deserter. I 
shall seek all I have henceforth to hope for in America. 
Take you the only course that remains for France." 

Ney's prophecy was soon to be fulfilled, for on the 
return of the Bourbons to the throne he was shot as a 
traitor to France, although, as has been frequently said of 
him, he fought more than five hundred battles for his 
country and never raised arms against her! 

A deputation from the Senate waited on the Emperor 
at the Elysee, and in respectful terms thanked him for the 
sacrifice he had made, but he was unable to exact from 
them the avowal that his abdication necessarily carried 
with it the immediate proclamation of Napoleon II. 

The Emperor, for the last time clothed in imperial 
garb, and surrounded by his great ofiicers of state, 
received the deputation with calmness and dignitj . "I 
thank you for the sentiments which you express," he said, 
" I desire that my abdication may produce the happiness 
of France ; but I cannot hope it ; the State is left by it 
without a chief, without a political existence. The time 
lost in overturning the Empire might have been employed 
in placing France in a position to crush the enemy. I 
recommend that the Chamber promptly reinforce the 
armies ; whoever wishes for peace must be ready for war. 
Do not place this great nation at the mercy of strangers. 
Beware of being deceived in your hopes. This is the real 
danger. In whatever position I may be placed, I shall 
always be satisfied, if France is happy." 

He perceived clearly that there was no hope for his son. 
Thus ended the second reign — the " Hundred Days " of 
Napoleon. His public career was ended. The council of/ 
ministers broke up, arid the palace of the Elysee sooii'^' 


presented the appearance of being deserted. Napoleon, 
surrounded only by a few friends, had now become a private 
individual. When Caulaincourt advised him to seek safety 
from the Allies in flight to the United States, he replied ; 
' ' What have I to fear ? I have abdicated — ^it is the bus- 
iness of France to protect me !" 

The repeated protestations of Napoleon and his friends, 
that unless Napoleon II. was recognized the abdication of 
his father was null, and that the country that could hesitate 
about such an act of justice was worthy of nothing but 
slavery, began to produce a powerful effect among the 
soldiery in Paris, and Napoleon was called upon to 
signify to the army that he no longer claimed any authority 
over them, to which he complied. 

A provisional government was now proclaimed, consist- 
ing of Fouche, Carnot, Caulaincourt and Generals Grenier 
and Quinette, and installed in the Tuileries. Fouche 
declared that Napoleon's continued presence at the capital 
might produce disturbance, and Carnot was deputed to 
request him to withdraw to Malmaison, which he was com- 
pelled to do on the 25th. Arriving there he soon became 
aware of the fact that he was in effect a prisoner, for 
Fouche' s police surrounded him on all sides — ostensibly 
' 'to protect his person. ' ' It was at Malmaison, in compliance 
with the suggestions of some members of the government, 
that Napoleon addressed his last proclamation to the army ; 
"Soldiers!" he said, "When I yield to the necessity which 
forces me to separate myself from the brave French army, I 
take away with me the happy conviction that it will justify, 
by the eminent services which the country expects trom it, 
the high character which our enemies themselves are not 
able to refuse to it. Soldiers ! I shall follow your steps, 


though absent. I know all the corps, and not one among 
them will obtain a single advantage over the enemy that I 
shall not render homage to the courage which it will have 
shown. You, and I, have been calumniated. Men, 
incapable of appreciating 3'our actions, have seen, in the 
marks of attachment which you have given me, a zeal of 
which I was the whole object ; let your future success 
teach them that it was the country, above all, that you 
served in obeying me, and that if I have any part in your 
affection, I owe it to my ardent love of France, our 
common mother. Soldiers, some efforts more, and the 
coalition will be destroyed. Napoleon will know you by 
the blows that you will give to it. Save the honor, the 
independence of the French ; be what I have known you 
for twenty years, and you will be invincible. " 

This address, however, although written at the insti- 
gation of the government, its representatives would not 
allow to be published in the ' ' Moniteur. ' ' 

The relics of Waterloo, and Grouchy 's division, were 
now marching towards Paris under Soult, followed 
closely by Wellington and Blucher. The provisional 
government began to feel some anxiety concerning Napo- 
leon, whom they feared might make his escape from 
Malmaison and place himself at the head of an armed force 
to take the field against the invaders, and in favor of 
Napoleon II. 

General Becker, who had been appointed by Fouche to 
the im thankful ofi&ce of guarding Napoleon, was prevailed 
upon to repair to Paris and convey a letter to the govern- 
ment, in which the ex-Emperor offered to assume the com- 
mand of the army and beat the enemy, not with an 
intention of seizing the sovereign power, but agreeing 


to pursue his journey as soon as victory should give a 
favorable turn to the negotiations. In this letter, which 
was addressed to the Committee of Government, Napo- 
leon said : "In abdicating the sovereign authority, I 
did not renounce the noblest right of a citizen, that of 
defending my country. The approach of the Allies 
upon the capital leaves no doubt of their intentions and 
bad faith. Under these weighty circumstances, I offer 
my service as general, still considering myself the first 
soldier of my country ! ' ' 

Fouche read the letter aloud, and then exclaimed, " Is 
he laughing at us ? Come, this is going too far. ' ' His 
proposal was of course rejected, although Carnot was 
desirous that his prayer should be granted. 

General Becker was instructed to carry back to Mal- 
maison this response; "The duties of the Committee 
toward the country do not permit it to accept the propo- 
sition and the active assistance of the Emperor Napoleon." 

He found the Emperor in uniform, believing a favorable 
reply would be returned. When he had finished the 
missive Napoleon said: "These men are incapable of 
energy. Since that is the case, let us go into exile." 

Fouche now urged his prisoner to consent to depart 
at once for some foreign port — naming the United States 
as a haven in which he might find relief from out- 
side interference. If Napoleon had acted promptly, as he 
had all his life been accustomed to do, he might in all 
probability have made his escape to this country, as our 
vessels were in every French port — and he could have 
crossed the Atlantic ; but he hesitated, and those golden 
moments, which meant so much to him, even liberty 
itself, were soon irretrievably lost. Fouche, who was 


extremely anxious to have the man who had made him 
all he was out of the way, did not hesitate to resort 
to questionable means of pressure to get Napoleon to 
leave France. One of these was the stimulating of the 
personal creditors of the dethroned Emperor, and his family, 
who repaired incessantly to Malmaison to torment him 
with their demands. 

Meanwhile Fouche sent to the Duke of Wellington 
announcing that Napoleon had declared his intention of 
departing for America, and requesting for him a safe 
conduct across the Atlantic. The Duke replied that he 
had no authority to grant passports to Napoleon Bona- 
parte but the request, as Fouche hoped, had the effect of 
causing the English admirality to quicken their diligence 
and there was immediately stationed no less than thirty 
cruisers along the western coasts of France in order to 
intercept Napoleon should he attempt to depart. No one 
could be deceived as to the intention of this proceeding ; 
it clearly denoted that the men, who, for the moment, 
possessed the government of France, had determined that 
the late Emperor should not leave the country freely. 
The fear that he might return to the capital, and to his 
throne, had made them take a step which was certain to 
place him in the power of the English government. 

The next move was to inform Napoleon of the Duke ' s reply 
and with it the declaration that two frigates, and some 
smaller vessels, awaited his orders at Rochefort. He was 
informed that " if he repaired thither on the instant ' ' he 
would still be in time. For a moment he hesitated, 
wavering between hope and doubt. Baron Fleury then 
went to Paris and learned that the Prussians designed to 
carry off" the Emperor ; that Blucher had said, "If I can 


catch Bonaparte, I will hang him up at the head of my 
army, ' ' but that Wellington had strenuously opposed such 
a cowardly design. At half past 3 o'clock in the morning 
Napoleon was informed that Wellington had refused him 
safe conduct, and he was ordered to depart immediately from 
Malmaison, Preparations were hurriedly made, and on 
the 29th of June, eleven days after the battle of Waterloo, 
he left Malmaison, accompanied by Savary, Bertrand and 
l^as Casas,and others of his attached servants, and attended 
by a guard of mounted men. 

If one of his followers had not taken the precaution to 
have the bridges in front of Malmaison burned. Napoleon 
would have run a great risk of falling into the hands of 
the Allies, as three corps of Prussian cavalry appeared 
there in quest of him very soon after he started. They 
had arrived by a circuitous route, and must have been led 
by a guide well acquainted with the locality. Napoleon, 
however, had escaped this danger. He slept at Ram- 
bouillet the first night, at Tours on the 30th, and at Niort 
on the ist of July. He was well received wherever he 
was recognized ; but at the last named place the enthu- 
siasm of the people and troops was extreme. 

Rochefort was reached on the 3rd of July. Here Napo- 
leon, who was joined by his brother Joseph, took up his 
residence in the prefect's house with the view of embarking 
immediately, but he was informed that a British line-of- 
battle ship, and some smaller vessels of war, were off the 
roads, watching the roadstead and harbor, and his 
departure was therefoic impossible. 

Meanwhile the French army had once more retired from 
before the walls of Paris under a convention, and Blucher 
and Wellington were about to enter the capital and reseat 


Louis on the throne. The only alternative, therefore, was 
to open negotiations with Captain Maitland, who com- 
manded the Bellerophon, an English man-of-war which 
had taken up its station at Rochefort two days before the 
arrival of the ex-Kmperor. 

On being asked for a safe conduct to America the 
English commander replied that his orders were to make 
every effort to prevent ' ' Bonaparte ' ' from escaping, and 
if so fortunate as to obtain possession of his person, to sail 
at once with him for England. Savary and Las Casas, 
who conducted the negotiations, were unable to exact a 
definite promise from the captain, when they visited him 
on the loth of July, or to learn from him if it was the 
intention of the British government to throw any impedi- 
ment in the way of his voyage to the United States. In 
the course of the conversation. Captain Maitland, accord- 
ing to his own statement, threw out the suggestion, "Why 
not seek an asylum in England ? " to which various 
objections were urged by Savary, and thus the interview 

The succeeding days were passed by Napoleon in 
discussing various plans devised for his escape, but they 
were all abandoned by him. He saw no possible chance 
of success, for, as he himself said : ' ' Wherever wood 
can float, there is the flag of England. I will throw 
myself into her hands — a helpless foe." Then, too, 
Napoleon was weary of strife, and had the feelings of one 
who had done with action, and whose part it was to 
endure. He at last rejected all such proposals, and once 
more dispatched Las Casas, accompanied by Lallemand,to 
Capt. Maitland, on the 14th of July, with instructions to 
inquire again whether the intentions of the British govern- 


ment were yet declared as to a passage to America, or if 
permission for Napoleon to pass in a neutral vessel could 
be obtained. The answer was in the negative ; but 
Capt. Maitland again suggested his embarkation on board 
the Bellerophon, in which case he should be conveyed to 
England. The words of Captain Maitland, quoted by 
himself to Lord Keith were ; " If he choses to come on 
board the ship I command, I think, under the orders I 
am acting with, I may venture to receive him, and carry 
him to England. ' ' Upon this a negotiation took place, 
which terminated in I^as Casas saying ; ' ' Under all 
circumstances, I have little doubt that you will see the 
Emperor on board the Bellerophon." 

I/as Casas returned to the Isle of Aix after his interview 
with Captain Maitland on the 14th. The result of his 
mission appeared to be " that Captain Maitland had 
authorized him to tell the Emperor if he decided upon 
going to England, he was authorized to receive him on 
board ; and he accordingly placed his ship at his disposal. ' ' 
Napoleon then finally made up his mind to place himself 
on board the British vessel. On the same day Gourgaud 
delivered to Captain Maitland the following letter addressed 
to the Prince Regent of England : 

' 'Royal Highness: — Exposed to the factions which divide 
my country, and to the hostility of the greatest powers of 
Europe, I have closed my political career. I come, like 
Themistocles to seek the hospitality of the English nation. 
I place myself under the protection of their laws, which 
I claim from your Royal Highness as the most powerful, 
and most constant, and the most generous of my enemies. 

Rochefort, July the 13th, 18 15. 


The letter was received by the royal commander and 

sent to England, but no answer was returned. 


On the 15th Napoleon and his friends decided to board 
the Bellerophon and were transported thither by a barge 
sent by Captain Maitland. The parting scenes with 
those left behind were most affecting. The English 
commander received his charge in a respectful manner, 
but without salute or distinguished honors ; Napoleon 
uncovered himself, on reaching the quarter-deck, and said 
in a firm tone of voice, ' ' I come to place myself under the 
protection of your prince and laws !' ' 

The captain then led him into the cabin, which was 
given up to his use, and afterwards, by his own request, 
presented all the officers to him. He visited every part of 
the ship during the morning, conversing with much 
freedom with th^se on board, about naval and other affairs. 
About noon the ship got under weigh and made sail for 

On the 23d of June the Bellerophon passed Ushant, and 
for the last time Napoleon gazed long and mournfully on 
his beloved country, but said nothing. At daybreak on 
the 24th they were close to Dartmouth, and when the ship 
was at anchor the captain was instantly admonished by the 
I/)rds of the Admiralty to permit no communication of 
any kind between his ship and the coast. On the 26th 
the commander was ordered to Plymouth Sound, where he 
was the object of great curiosity on the part of thousands 
of people who swarmed about the vessel in small boats, 
eager to behold the man who had had the attention of the 
world for so many years. Napoleon appeared on deck 
and was greeted with loud cheers, to which he bowed and 
smiled in return, and remarked to Captain Maitland : 
' ' The EngUsh appear to have a very large portion of 
curiosity. ' ' On one occasion the captain counted upwards 


of a thousand boats within view, each containing on an 
average eight people. 

On the 31st of July Napoleon was visited by Sir Henry 
Bunbury, under-Secretary of State, and lyord Keith 
admiral of the channel fleet, who came on board and 
announced the final decision of the British government 
respecting him, and which was that ' ' General Bonaparte, ' ' 
their prisoner, should not be landed on the shores of 
England, but removed forthwith to St. Helena, as being 
the situation which, more than any other at their 
command, the 'government thought safe against a second 
escape, and the indulgence to himself of personal freedom 
and exercise, and which might be reconciled with the 
"indispensable precautions which it would be necessary 
to employ for the security of his person." Secondly, 
with the exception of Savary and Lallemand, he was to 
be permitted to take with him any three officers he chose, 
besides one surgeon and twelve domestics, none of whom 
were to be allowed, however, to quit the island without 
the sanction of the British government. 

Napoleon, on listening to the decree which sealed his 
fate for life, made no comment whatever until the reading 
of the decision had ended. He then solemnly pirotested 
against their cruel and arbitrary act. He protested, not 
only against the order, but against the right claimed by 
the English government to dispose of him as a prisoner of 
war. ' ' I came into your ship ' ' said he, " as I would 
into one of your villages. If I had been told I was to be 
a prisoner I would not have come. I asked him if he was 
willing to receive me on board, and convey me to England. 
Captain Maitland said he was, having received, or telling 
me he had received, special orders of government con- 


cerning me. It was a snare then, that had been spread 
for me. As for the Island of St. Helena, it would be my 
sentence of death. I demand to be received as an English 
citizen." He objected strenuously to the title given him, 
declared his right to be considered as a sovereign prince, 
that his father-in-law, or the Czar, would have treated 
him far differently, and concluded by expressing his belief 
that "if your government act thus, it will disgrace you in 
the eyes of Europe. " " Even your own people will 
blame it," he added. 

His protests were in vain, however, and at length, the 
interview having terminated, he was informed that Admiral 
Sir George Cockburn was ready to receive him on board 
the Northumberland to convey him to St. Helena. Napo- 
leon then declared with animation, "No, no, I will not go 
there ; I am not a Hercules ; but you shall not conduct me 
to St. Helena, I prefer death in this place. You found 
me free — send me back again ; replace me in the condition 
in which I was, or permit me to go to America. ' ' Still his 
protests were ignored and preparations were at last begun 
for departure. In a private conversation with Captain 
Maitland, Napoleon reverted to the painful subject in the 
following terms : ' ' The idea is a perfect horror to me. To 
be placed for life on an island within the tropics, at an 
immense distance from any land, cut off from all commu- 
nication with the world, and everything I hold dear to 
it ! It is worse than Tamerlane's iron cage. I would 
prefer being given up to the Bourbons. ' ' 

Napoleon's suite, as finally arranged, consisted of 
Counts Bertrand, Montholon and Las Casas, General 
Gourgaud, and Dr. O'Meara, an Irish naval surgeon. 
Bertrand and Montholon were accompanied by their ladies 


and children, and twelve upper domestics of the late 
imperial household, who desired to share in the fortunes of 
their master. The money, diamonds and salable effects 
Napoleon had with him he was deprived of. When the 
search of his belongings was in progress, Bertrand was 
invited to attend, but he was so indignant at the measure 
that he positively refused. Four thousand gold napo- 
leons (^16,000) were taken from him ; the rest of the 
money, amounting to about one thousand five hundred 
napoleons, were returned to enable the Exile to pay such 
of is servants as were about to leave him. 

The Northumberland sailed for St. Helena on the 8 th of 
August. After a voyage of about seventy days, without 
unusual incident , on the 1 5th of October, 1 8 1 5 , Napoleon 
had his first view of his destined retreat. He was then 
forty -six years of age, enjoyed fairly good health, and 
but for the repeated denials of many neces'Sary com- 
forts to which he was now to be subjected might, in a 
measure, have enjoyed the remaining years of his life. 
Here he found himself immured for life in a small volcanic 
island, in the southern Atlantic, measuring ten miles in 
length and seven in breadth, at a distance of two thousand 
leagues from the scenes of his immortal exploits in arms, 
and separated from the two great continents of Africa and 
America by the unfathomable ocean. 

The admiral landed about noon with a view of finding 
a fitting abode for Napoleon and his suite, returning in 
the evening. On the i6th the imperial prisoner landed, 
and as he left the Northumberland the officers all 
assembled on the quarter-deck with nearly the whole of the 
crew stationed in the gangways. Before he stepped into 
the small boat to be taken ashore he took leave of the 


captain and desired liim to. convey his thanks to his officers 
and men. He then mad^ oflf for the shore to take up his 
residence at ' ' the Briars, ' ' a small cottage about half a mile 
from Jamestown, during the interv^al which must elapse 
before other quarters could be provided for him. On the 
loth of December he took possession of his newly appointed 
abode at I^ongwood, a villa about six miles distant from 
Jamestown. At this latter place he died on the 5th of May 
1 82 1 at half past 5 o'clock in the evening, after an exile of 
nearly six years. His death was no doubt hastened by a 
succession of petty annoyances on the part of his "jailer," 
Sir Hudson lyowe, governor of the island, which began 
on his arrival, and were followed up during all 
the years of his exile, despite his repeated protestations. 
He had already lived much longer than he desired, and 
had completed all his preparations for death's coming, 
during his last year of bad health. In his final hours he 
was surrounded by Bertrand, Montholon and other devoted 
friends to whom he had given his final instructions. 

Four days later, or on May 9th, with the cloak he 
had worn at Marengo thrown over his feet, and clothed in 
the uniform of the Chasseurs of his Guard, he was buried 
with military honors, surrounded by the sorrowing friends 
who had shared his long confinement. The only inscrip- 
tion permitted on the tablet over his body was ' ' Gen- 
eral Bonaparte." 

Nineteen years later, at the request of the French 
government, England honored a request for his ashes, 
and his body was disinterred and conveyed to France to 
rest once more "on the banks of the Seine, among the 
French people whom he had loved so well." On Decem- 
ber 15th 1840, in the midst of the most imposing and 


magnificent ceremonies Paris had ever witnessed, the body 
of the Emperor was borne to the Invalides where it lay 
for many days publicly exposed. On the 6th of February 
1 84 1 the coffin was taken from the imperial cenotaph and 
placed in the chapel of St. Jerome, in the Church of the 
Invalides where it was to remain till the completion of the 
mausoleum some years later. Beneath the golden dome 
which crowns the Invalides, and towards which the faces 
of all visitors to Paris -are most frequently turned, there 
still rests all that is mortal of this most wonderful warrior 
and statesman. His magic name continues to defy even 
time itself, and as the years roll on each generation 
inquires of its predecessors what they knew of this man 
who was so great that his name fills more pages in the 
world's solemn history than that of any other mortal. 



Abensberg, battle of, 2T7. 
Abercromby, Sir Ralph, victory of 

over the French in Elgypt, 178. 
Aboukir, battle of, 134. 
Abrantes, Duchess d', 20. 
Abdication, Napoleon's first, 405. 

Second, 491-2. 
Acre, siege of, 128. 
Ajaccio, birthplace of Napoleon, 11. 

Destruction of, 25. 

Landing of Napoleon on return 
from Egypt at, 138. 
Alexander, Czar, at Austerlitz, 200. 

Interview of, with Napoleon on 
the Niemen, 248. 

Meeting of, with Napoleon at 
Erfurt, 261. 

Alliance of, with King of Prussia, 

In Paris, 1814, 403. 

Visit of, to Josephine, 417. 
Alexandria, conquest of, 113. 
Alps, passage of the, 154-61, 
Alessandria, conditions of peace 

signed at, 173. 
Alvinzi, Austrian general, in Italy, 82. 

Success of, on the Tyrol, 83. 

Defeated at Areola, 88. 
Amiens, peace of, 179. 

. Rupture of peace of, 183. 
Ancients, Council of, conduct of on 

18th Brumaire, 143. 
Angouleme, Duchess d', 437. 
Anne, Grand Duchess, of Russia, 320. 
Areola, battle of, 85. 
Arcis, battle of, 396. 
Astorga, Napoleon at, 273. 
Augereau, (Marshal and General) at 
Millessimo, 53. 

At Areola, 86. 

At Castiglione, 74. 

At Jena, 220. 


Conduct of in 1814, 412. 
Austerlitz, battle of, 204. 
Autun, College of, 15. 

Austria, efforts of, in Italy, 1796, 50. 

Insincere policy of, to France, 
1800, 177. 

Joins Bourbon coalition, 189. 

French campaign in, results of, 
1805, 197. 

Treaty with France after Auster- 
litz, 209. 

Declares war against France, 
1809, 274. 

Armistice with France after 
Wagram, 302. 

Treaty with France, 1812, 312. 

Policy of 1813,to France, .354. 

Joins alliance to dethrone Napo- 
leon, 435. 

Preparations of, for re-invasion 
of France, 439. 
Avignon, Napoleon victorious at, 27. 


Bagration, Russian general, in 
1812, 320. 
Death of, 329. 
Bamberg, Napoleon's headquarters 

at, 214. 
Barras, member of French Directory, 
Selects Napoleon to defend the 
Convention, 38. 
Bassano, battle of, 79. 
Baylen, battle of, 259. 
Bayonne, meeting of Charles IV. and 

Napoleon at, 256. 
Bautzen, battle of, 354. 
Bavaria, invasion of, 275. 

King of, joins the Allies, 368. 
Bauer, M., tutor of Napoleon, 20. 
Beauharnais, Eugene, first meeting of, 
with Napoleon, 43. 
In Egypt; 130. 
At Wagram, 296. 
In retreat from Russia, 334. 
Succeeds Murat in command of 

troops, 348. 
Defeated in Italy, 1813, 373. 
Beauharnais, Hortense, 305. 
Beaulieu, Austrian gener'l, in Italy, 51. 




Beaulieu, defeated by Napoleon, 72. 
Bellerophon, Napoleon on board the, 

Belliard, General, defeated at Alex- 
andria, 178. 
In campaign of 1813, 401. 
Bennigsen, Russian general, retreat 
behind the Wkra, 231. 
At Eylau, 234. 
Defeat of at Friedland, 248. 
Beresina, passage of the, 343. 
Berlin, entry of Napoleon into, 1806, 

Berlin decrees, 228. 
Berthier, Major-General to Napoleon, 
Marshal and General, at Rivoli, 
Bessieres, (Marshal and General) in 
Italy, 68. 
At Austerlitz, 205. 
In Spain, 259. 
At Elssling, 290. 
Death of, before Lutzen, 353. 
Bernadotte, (Marshal and General) 
in Italy, 100. 
On the 18th Brumaire, 144. 
At Austerlitz, 204. 
Conduct of, at Jena, 221. 
At Wagram, 296. 
Joins the Allies, (Crown Prince of 

Sweden), 350. 
In campaign of 1813, 361. 
Bertrand, General, at EJlba, 421. 
At Waterloo, 482. 

Accompanies Napoleon to St. 
Helena, 503. 
Blucher, Prussian general, at Jena, 

Defeat of, at Lubeck, 226. 
Commander-in-Chief Prussian 

army, 1813, 349. 
In command of Silesian array, 

1814, 378. 
In campaign of 1815, 410. 
Narrow escape at I/igny, 452. 
At Waterloo, 479-88. 
Bonaparte, Letitia Ramolino, mother 

of Napoleon, 9. 
Bonaparte, Charles, father of Napo- 
leon, 15. 
Bonaparte, Eliza ,23. 
Bonaparte, Jerome, in Russian cam- 
paign, 317. 
At Waterloo, 466. 
Bonaparte, Joseph, at Autun, 15. 
Made King of Spain, 258. 
Head of the Council in Paris, 380. 
Bonaparte, Lucien, President of Coun- 
cil of Five Hundred, 142. 
In 1815, 490. 
Bonaparte, Napoleon (see Napoleon). 
Bonaparte, Pauline, at Elba, 418. 
Bourbon, Monarchy, restoration of, 410. 

Bourmont, General, treason of, 446. 

Bourrienne, Napoleon's early friend- 
ship with, 15. 
In Egypt, 132. 

Borodino, battle of, 325-29. 

Boulogne, headquarters of French 
army at, 191. 

Brienne, Military school of, 9. 
Arrival of Napoleon at, 15. 
Battle of, 381. 

Brumaire, the 18th and 19th, Revolu- 
tion of, 143-61 

Brueyes, Admiral, death of, 122. 

Brunswick, Charles William Fred- 
erick, Duke, defeat of, at Jena, 

Brunswick, Frederick William, Duke 
of, killed at Quatre-Bras, 454. 

Brune, General, defeats Austrians on 
the Mincio, 177. 

Brussels, headquarters of British 
army 1815, 440. 

Bulow, General, at Waterloo, 464. 
Repulsed by Count I<obau, 478. 

Cartaux, General, in command at 

Toulon, 28. 
Carnot, member of French Directory, 
Appoints Napoleon commander of 

Army of Italy, 44. 
Minister of war under Consulate, 

In 1815,437. 
Cairo, French army march on, 114. 
In the occupation of the French, 

Revolt at, 124. 
Cambaceres, Consul with Napoleon, 

Cambronne, General, commander of 
the Guard, 425. 
Wounded at Waterloo, 484-5. 
Campo-Formio, treaty of, 104. 
Castiglione, battle of, 74. 
Caulaincourt, French diplomatist, in 
retreat from Russia, 345. 
Employed to negotiate treaty in 

1814, 383. 
Pleads Napoleon's cause before 

Czar Alexander, 402. 
At Fontainebleau, 404. 
After Waterloo, 494. 
Cervoni, Adjutant, interview with 

Napoleon, 26. 
Causse, General, at Dego, 54. 
Charleroi, engagement at, 448. 
Chebreis, engagement at, 116, 
Champaubert, battle of, 384. 
Champ de Mai, ceremony of, 441. 
Charles, the Archduke, Austrian com- 
mander in Italy, 98. 
Forced to abandon Italy, 198. 



Charles, the Archduke, invades Bava- 
ria, 275. 
Defeated at Eckmuhl, 279. 
Defeated at Essling, 289. 
At Wagram, 301. 
Charles IV., King of Spain, abdicates, 

Clouet, Colonel, treason of, 446. 
Colombier, Madame du, 21. 
Corsica, birthplace of Napoloen, 9. 

Revolution in, 24-5. 
Code Napoleon, anecdote of, 36. 

Formation of, 180. 
Committee of Public Safety, 34. 
Concordat, signing of, 179. 
Conspiracy, to assassinate Napoleon, 

Coalition, Bourbon, 190. 
Convention, French, Napoleon under- 
takes defense of, 39. 
Colli,General,defeatedby Napoleon, 53. 
Confederation of the Rhine, estab- 
lished, 211. 
Dissolved, 373. 
Consuls of the French Republic, 148. 
Continental System, adopted by Prus- 
sia, 249. 
Modification of, 309. 
Consular Government, organization 

of, 149. 
Corunna, combat at, 272. 
Consul, life, Napoleon appointed, 182. 
Craonne, battle of, 392. 
Culm, engagement at, 364. 


Dantzic, surrender of, 242. 
Davidowich, General, defeat of, at 

Roveredo, 78. 
Danube, French army crosses the, 295. 
Daru, M., at Boulogne, 191. 
Daru. Count, at Moscow, 353, 
Davoust, (Marshal and General) at 
Austerlitz, 205. 

At Jena, 221. 

At Eylau, 238. 

At Kckmuhl, 284. 

At Wagram, 296. 

In Russia, 315. 

At Moscow, 332, 
Desaix, General, in Egypt, 114. 

In Italy, 163. 

Death of, at Marengo, 169. 
Dego, battle of, 54. 
Dennewitz, battle of, 364. 
Desvaux, General, killed at Waterloo, 

Dneiper, Ney crossing the, 341. 
Dresden, arrival of Napoleon at, in 
1812, 313. 

Entry of Napoleon into, 1813, 353. 

Engagement at, 362. 
Duroc, General, Napoleon's first 
meeting with, 29. 

Duroc, death of, at Bautzen, 355-6. 
Dugommier, General, at Toulon, 31. 
Dubois, General, death of, 78. 
Ducos, Roger, Consul with Napoleon, 

Druot, General, at Elba, 421. 

At Waterloo, 482. 
Dupont, General, at Friedland, 246. 

Surrenders at Baylen, 259. 
Dufresne, General, at Waterloo, 470. 

Ebersberg, battle of, 285. 
Eckmuhl, battle of, 279. 
Egypt, French expedition to, deter- 
mined upon, 110. 
Disembarkation in, of Napoleon, 

Improved condition of, under Na- 
poleon, 128. 
Napoleon leaves, 136. 
Ivost to France, 178. 
Elchingen, battle of, 194. 
Elba, exile of Napoleon to, 413. 
Arrival of Napoleon at, 414. 
Napoleon on the island of, 415. 
Departure of Napoleon from, 421. 
Emperor, Napoleon proclaimed, 1804. 

Enghien, Duke d', execution ot, 185-6. 
England, French project of invasion 
of, 1797, 108. 
Refuses to treat with Consular 

Government, 152. 
French preparations for invasion, 

1802, 179. 
Declares war on France, 184. 
Alliance with Spain, 258. 
Joins alliance to dethrone Na- 
poleon, 435. 
Erfurt, meeting between Napoleon 

and Alexander at, 261. 
Erlon, Count d', at Quatre-Bras, 454. 

At Waterloo, 468, 471. 
Essling, battle of, 289. 
Eylau, battle of, 234-41. 

Fesch, Cardinal, uncle of Napoleon, 311. 
Ferdinand, Prince of Spain, disputes 
of, with his father, 253. 

Proclaimed King of Spain, 255. 

Resigns his throne. 2.57. 
Five Hundred, Council of, dissolved 

Fox, English statesman, 42. 

Effect of the death of, 212. 
Fouche, Minister of Police, 142. 

Opposed to Russian campaign, 

Treason of, 440. 

Conduct of, after Waterloo, 494-97. 
Fontainebleau, t r ea ty of, between 
France and Spain, 254. 



Fontainebleau, arrival of Napoleon at, 
1814, 401. 
Treaty of, (abdication) 408. 
Napoleon attempts suicide at, 409. 
Adieu of Napoleon and Old Guard 

at, 410. 
Arrival of Napoleon at, on return 
from Elba, 4g2. 
Francis II., Kmperor of Austria, 
meeting of, with Napoleon, 207. 
Advice to Napoleon in 1814, 389. 
After surrender of Paris, 417. 
France, condition of, on Napoleon's 
return fromEjgypt, 140. 
Invasion of, 378. 
Frankfort, manifesto issued by Allied 

Princes, 375. 
Frejus, arrival of Napoleon at, on re- 
turn from Egypt, 139. 
Arrival of Napoleon at, on return 
from Elba, 422. 
Frederick the Great, Napoleon at 

tomb of, 227. 
Frederick William, KingofPrussia,349. 
Friedland, battle of, 242-47. 


Ga spar in, Representative of the 
people, at Toulon, 29. 

Gap, Napoleon at, 424. 

Genoa, surrender of, to Napoleon, 172. 

Gerard, General, at Liguy, 451. 

Godoy, Minister of Spain, 255. 

Gourgaud, General, at battle of Bri- 
enne, 381. 
At retreat from Waterloo, 487. 
Accompanies Napoleon to St. 
Helena, 503. 

Grenoble, arrival of Napoleon, on re- 
turn from Elba 427. 

Gross-Beeren, battle of, 364. 

Srouchy, (Marshal and General) in 
Russsian campaign, 342. 
Operations of, before Waterloo, 

456-57, 465. 
One cause of defeat of Napoleon 
at Waterloo, 472-3. 

Guadarrama, passage of the, by Na- 
poleon, 270. 


Hanover, conquest of, 185. 

Hanau, battle of, 372. 

Hatzfeld, Princess, Napoleon's clem- 
ency to, 228. 

Haulpoult, General d', death of, 240. 

Heilsberg, battle of, 242. 

Holland, Napoleon's appointment in, 

Hohenlinden, battle of, 177. 

Hundred Days, the, 437. 

Institute of Cairo, organized by Na- 
poleon, 123. 

Imperial Guard, organization of, 68. 
Iron Crown, order of, instituted, 188. 
Italy, Army of, Napoleon appointed 
commander-in-chief, 44. 
Condition of, in 1796, 45. 
Improved state of, 65. 
Napoleon crowned King of, 188. 
Invalides, Hotel des, resting place ot 
Napoleon, 506. 

Jaffa, massacre of prisoners at, 126. 

Retreat of French army from, 131. 
Jena, battle ot, 218-25 
Joubert, General, at Rivoli, 89. 
Jourdan, Marshal, commander of 
Army of the Danube, 153. 

Defeated in Spain, 359. 
Josephine, marriage with Napoleon, 

Coronation of, as Empress, 187. 

Divorce of, 304-6. 

Vibited by Alexander, 417. 

Death of, 418. 
Junot, General, first meeting of, with 
Napoleon, 29. 

In Italy, 75. 

In Egypt, 129. 

Invades Portugal, 254. 

In Russia, 324. 


Keith, Lord, announces decision of 
British Government effecting 
Napoleon, 502. 
King of Rome, (Napoleon's son) birth 
of, 308. 
Anecdote of, 398. 
Kirgener, General, death of, 355. 
Kellerman, General, in Italy, 1(X). 
At Marengo, 169. 
At Waterloo, 472-77. 
Kleber, General, at Alexandria, 114. 
Commander of the Army of Egypt, 

Death of, 178. 
Krasnoi, engagement at, 321. 

Battle of, in retreat from Russia, 
340, • 
Kozietulski, Polish general, in Spain, 

Kremlin, (Moscow) Napoleon at, 330. 

Flight of Napoleon from, 332. 
Kutusoflf, Russian general, at Auster- 
litz, 204. 
At Borodino, 325. 

In pursuit of French army in Rus- 
sian retreat, 338. 

I^afayette, member of French govern- 
ment, 1815, 491. 
I,aon, battle of, 392. 



Labedoyere, Colonel, loyalty of, to 
Napoleon, 426. 
At Waterloo, 482. 
Lannes, (Marshal and General) at 
Dego, 54. 
At Ivodi, 61. 
At Bassano, 79. 
In Egypt, 129. 
At MontebeUo, 162, 
At Ulm, 196. 
At Austerlitz, 205. 
At Jena, 220. 
At Eckmuhl, 279. 
At Ratisbon, 283. 
At Essling, 289, 
Death of, 293. 
Landshut, battle of, 278. 
I<auriston, Count, at Wagram, 298. 

In Russia, 333. 
I<a Salle, General, French cavalry 

leader, death of, 301. 
Ivas Casas, General, accompanies Na- 
poleon to St. Helena, 603. 
Ivavalette, in Egypt, 130. 

In 1814, 400. 
I,eBrun, Consul with Napoleon, 151. 
IvCfebvre, (Marshal and General) at 
Jena, 227. 
At Dantzic, 242. 
In Spain, 259. 
In Russia, 330. 
I<efebvre-Desnoettes, General, at 

Waterloo, 471. 
Leipsic, battle of, 365-71. 
lycoben, provisional treaty ot, 102. 
Legion ot Honor, established by 

Napoleon, 180. 
I.odi, battle of, 59-63. 
I<onato, battle of, 74. 

Napoleon's escape from capture 
at, 76. 
I,ombardy, conquest of, 97. 
Ligny, battle Of, 449-63. 
I,ouis XVI. attacked by the mob, 22. 

Execution of, 26. 
IvOuis XVIII., correspondence with 
Napoleon, 174—6. 
■ Protests against Napoleon's usur- 
pation, 187. 
Restoration of, 416. 
Flight from Paris, 432. 
Restored to the throne in 1815, 499. 
I<obau, Napoleon decides to fall back 
on, 291. 
Napoleon on the island of, 294. 
lyObau, Count, at Waterloo, 470. 
Repulses Bulow's corps, 478. 
Louisiana, sale of, by Napoleon, to 

U. S., 185. 
Louis, Prince of Prussia, death of, 216. 
Louis, the archduke, defeated at 

Abensberg, 277. 
Luneville, treaty of, 178. 
Lutzen, battle- of, 352, 

Lubeck, battle of, 226. 

Lyons, Napoleon issues proclamations 

La Belle Alliance, Napoleon on 
heights of, 462. 


Maitland, Captain, negotiations with 

on Napoleon's behalf, 499-501. 
Macdonald, (Marshal and General) 
at Wagram, 298-301. 

In Russian campaign, 315. 

In campaign of 1813, 360. 

At Leipsic, 369. 

At Lyons, 428. 
Mack, Austrian general, 198. 

Surrenders at Ulm, 196. 
Malta, capture of, by Napoleon, 112. 
Mantua, siege and tall o^ 81, 96. 
Marbot, General, in Spain, 270. 
Madrid, insurrection at, 257. 

Surrender of, 266-68. 
Marboeuf, Bishop of Autun, 15. 
Mallet, conspiracy of, 344. 
Marie Louise, illness of at Vienna, 286. 

Napoleon's marriage with, 306. 

Empress-Regent, 360. 

Last interview with Napoleon, 380. 

Departure from Paris in 1814, 398. 

Return to Vienna 417. 
Marengo, battle of, 164-71. 

Napoleon visits battlefield of, 188. 
Mamelukes, Egyptian cavalry. Napo- 
leon's opinion of, 114. 
Marseilles, Napoleon at, 26. 
Maret, French diplomatist, at Nogent, 

Sends secret message to Napo- 
leon, 420. 
Marmont, (Marshal and General) at 
Nice, 34. 

In Italy, 81. 

At Wagram, 296. 

Defeated at Salamanca, 826. 

At capitulation of Paris, 400. 

Joins the Allies, 406. 
Massena, (Marshal and General) at 
Montenotte, 52. 

At Biestro, 53. 

At Lonato, 74. 

In Switzerland, 153. 

Appointed commander of the 
Army of Italy, 173. 

Success of, in Lombardy, 198. 

At Eckmuhl, 279. 

At Ebersberg, 285. 

At Essling, 289. 

At Wagram, 296. 
Melas, Austrian general, in Italy, 73. 

Defeat of, by Napoleon, 172. 
Memingen, capitulation of, 198. 
Menou, General, defeat of, 41. 

Released from prison at Napo- 
leon's request, 43. 



Menou, at Alexandria, 178. 
Meneval, private secretary to Napo- 
leon, 20. 
Milarodowich, Russian General, 330. 
Metternich, Diplomatist and Minister 

of Austria, 358-9. 
Merfeld, General, at Leipsic, 367, 
Milan, entiy of Napoleon into, 64, 

Surrender of, 71. 

Arrival of Napoleon in 1800, 161. 
Milhaud, General, at Waterloo, 471. 
Millessimo, battle of, 53. 
Mincio, French Army advances on, 67. 
Mont St. Jean, village of, near Water- 
loo, 4.59. 
Montholon, General, accompanies 

Napoleon to St. Helena, 503. 
Montbrun, General, in Spain, 265. 
Moncey, Marshal, at the defense of 

Paris, 399. 
Moncey, Captain, in Russia, 325. 
Mondovi, battle of, 54. 
Montenotte, battle of, 51. 
Morla, Thomas de,governor of Madrid, 

Moore, Sir John, in Spain. 269. 

Death of, at Corunna, 272. 
Montebello, battle of, 163. 
Montereau, battle of, 387. 
Montmirail, battle of, 385. 
Mouton, General, at Abensberg, 278. 
Moscow, arrival of French army at, 329. 

Conflagration of, 330-32. 

French retreat from, 334. 
Moreau, General, operations in Italy, 

At Hohenlinden, 177. 

Joins the Allies in 1813, 362. 

Death of, at Dresden, 363. 
Mortier, (Marshal and General,) in- 
vades Hanover, 185. 

At Krasnoi, 340. 

At capitulation of Paris, 399. 
Moses, fountains of. Napoleon visits, 

Mourad Bey, Mameluke chief, de- 
feated, 120. 
Moskovsra, battle at, ( see Borodino. ) 325. 
Murat, (Marshal and General ; King 
of Naples), at battle of Sections, 

Takes Captured Standards to 
Paris, 56. 

In Egypt, battle of Aboukir, 134. 

At Austerlitz. 205. 
Murat, at Jena, 220. 

At Fylau, 237. 

In Spain, 255. 

In Russia, 315. 

Resigns command of troops, 348. 

Negotiates vi^ith Allies, 373. 

Treason of, to Napoleon, 377. 

Efforts of, to regain his throne, 438. 

Death of, 439. 

Muiron, death of, at Areola. 87. 

. N 
Napoleon, (As the name " Napoleon " 
appears several times on almost 
every page of this book, and the 
events chronicled herein relat- 
ing to him are indexed under 
their separate titles, it has been 
thought advisable to omit their 
repetition under this heading). 
"Napoleon's Grotto," 14. 
Naples, Napoleon's policy tovrards, 71. 
National Assembly, French, 23. 
National Guards, take up arms 
against French government, 38. 
Napoleon's address to, 379. 
Naumburg, fall of, 217. 
Nelson, Admiral, in pursuit of 
French fleet. 111. 
Defeats French in Bay of Aboukir, 

Death of, at Trafalgar, 199. 
Ney, (Marshal and General) at Ulm, 
At Jena, 221. 
At Friedland, 245. 
In Russia, 324. 
At Moskovs^a, 329. 
Heroism of, in retreat from Russia, 

Rejoins the Emperor at Orcha, 341. 
. At Kowno, 346. 

Sent to arrest Napoleon, 430. 
Rejoins the Emperor, 431. 
At Quatre-Bras, 453. 
At Waterloo, 464-486. 
Execution of, 493. 
Nile, arrival of the French army at 
the, 115. 
Battle of the, 122. 
Niemen, passage of the, 317. 
Nice, Napoleon at the headquarters 
of the French army at, 33. 
Napoleon imprisoned at, 34. 
Notre Dame, Cathedral of. Napoleon's 

coronation at, 188. 
Northumberland, Napoleon trans- 
f erred to, 503. 
Napoleon's departure from, 504. 


O'Meara, Doctor, incidents of Napo- 
leon related by, 10,44. 
Accompanies N a p o 1 e o n to St. 
Helena, 603. 
Orcha, Marshal Ney's arrival at, 341. 
Osterode, Napoleon establishes head- 
quarters at, 241. 
Oudinot, (Marshal and General,) at 
Friedland, 245. 
At Wagram, 296. 
In Russian campaign 315. 
In 1813, 360. 



Paoli. General, Governor of Corsica, 

Pavia, submission of, 64. 

Insurrection at, 67. 
Paris, Napoleon's first arrival at, 19. 
Napoleon solicits employment in, 

Napoleon returns to, after first Ital- 
ian campaign, 106. 
Welcomes Napoleon after Mar- 
engo, 173-4. 
Return of the EJmperor to, after 

Friedland, 251. 
Return of French army to, after 

Russian campaign, 346. 
Defense of, 1814, 399. 
Capitulation of, 400. 
Entry of the Allied Army into, 

1814, 403. 
Napoleon returns after exile to 

Elba, 433. 
Napoleon's departure from, to 

begin campaign, 1815, 443. 
Entry of the Allies in 1815, 498. 
Interment of Napoleon's body in 
1840, at, 505-6. 
Pius VI., Pope, peace negotiations of, 

with Napoleon, 71. 
Pius VII., Pope, signs concordat, 179. 
At coronation of Napoleon and 

Josephine, 188. 
Imprisonment of at Fontaine- 

bleau, 303. 
Release of, 377. 
Poland, Napoleon fixes his head- 
quarters in, 280. 
Policy of Napoleon to, 1812, 319. 
Poniatowski, Polish prince, death of, 

Platoff, hetman of the Cossacks, 232, 

Ponsonby, General, death of at Wat- 
erloo, 467. 
Portugal, invasion of, 254. 

Insurrection in, 258. 
Prague, congress of diplomatists at, 
Headquarters of the Allies, 361. 
Prussia, prepares for war against 
France, 213. 
Treaty with France, 1812, 312. 
Declares war against France, 348. 
Joins alliance to dethrone Napo- 
leon, ^5. 
Pradt, Abbe, French ambassador at 

Warsaw, 345. 
Provera, General, defeat of in Itah', 

Pyramids, battle of, 117. 

Quatre-Bras, battle of, 453. 

Queen of Prussia, with Prussian army, 

At Jena, 225. 
At Tilsit, 249. 
Quasdonowich, Austrian general, 
defeated by Napoleon, 73. 


Rapp, General, in Russia, 386. 
Ratisbon, storming of, 280. 

Napoleon wounded at, 281. 
Rastadt, Congress of, 105. 
Revolution, French, 23,25. 
Reign of Terror, 26. 
Regnier, General, in Russia, 315. 

In campaign of 1813, 357. 
Rheims, battle of, 393. 
Rivoli, battle of, 90-2. 
Rochefort, Napoleon at, 498, 500. 
Robespierre, intercession of, for Na- 
poleon, 34. 
Rome, incorporated with French 

Empire, 303. 
Roveredo, battle of, 78. 
Royal Military School, Napoleon at, 18. 
Russia, joins Bourbon coalition, 1805, 
Relations with France in 1811, .309. 
Declares war against France 1812, 

Invasion of, by Napoleon, 318. 
Results of French campaign in, 

Joins alliance to dethrone Napo- 
leon, 435. 

Saalfeld, battle of, 216. 

St. Helena, arrival of Napoleon at,504. 

Death of Napoleon at, 505. 
Salamanca, battle of, 326. 
St. Cyr, (Marshal and General) in 

campaign of 1813, 360. 
Sardinia, annihilation of army of, 55. 
St. George, battle of, 94. 
St. Dizier, engagement at, 381. 
St. Domingo, expedition to, 179. 
Savary, (Duke of Rovigo,) in Egypt, 

At Marengo, 166. 

Diplomatist, in Spain, 256. 

Negotiates with Captain Mait- 
land, 499. 
Saxony, Elector of, ally of Napoleon, 

Fidelity to Napoleon, 345. 
Saxons, defection of, at I^eipsic, 369. 
Saragossa, siege of, 260. 
San Juan, Spanish General, 263. 
Schleiz, engagement at, 217. 
Schwartzenberg, Austrian general, 
in 1813, 361. 

In the invasion of France, 378. 



Schoenbrunn, attempt to assassinate 
Napoleon at, 302. 
Treaty of, 303. 
At Ulm, 196. 
Segur, Count, in Spain, 264, 266. 
Senate, French, conduct of in 1813, 

Serrurier, Austrian general, at 

Mantua, 95. 
Sections, defeat of the, 40. 
Sieves, member of the French Direc- 
tory, 142. 
Consul with Napoleon, 148. 
Smolensk, capture of, 321. 

Retreat of^the French army to,337. 
Somosierra, combat at, 263. 
Smith, Sir Sydney, at the siege of 

Acre, 127. 
Soult, (Marshal and General) at 
Austerlitz, 205. 
At Jena, 220. 
At Eylau, 23.5. 
In campaign of Spain, 272. 
At Waterloo, 482. 
Marches towards Paris, 495. 
Spain, policy of Napoleon to, 253. 
Napoleon exercises rights of a 

conqueror in, 268. 
Results of war with, 274. 
Conditions in, 1812, 310. 
Disasters of French in, 1813,374. 
Suchet, (Marshal and General) in 
Italy, 163. 
In Spain, 374. 
Sweden, joins Bourbon coalition, 189. 
Syria, Napoleon's expedition to, 125. 


Tallien, member of French Directory, 

Tagliamento, passage and battle of ,99. 
Talleyrand, French diplomatist, 109. 

Perfidy of, to Napoleon, 374. 
Thabor, Mount, battle of, 129. 
Tilsit, treaty of, 248. 

Arrival of Queen of Prussia at, 249. 
Tolentino, treaty of, 98. 
Tolly de, Barclay,Russian general,313. 

At Wilna, 315. 
Torre di Capitello, Napoleon reduces 

fortress of, 24. 
Toulon, delivered to the F;nglish, 26. 
Napoleon in command at, 27. 
Re-capture of, 31. 
Trafalgar, naval battle of, 199. 
Tuileries, Palace of, storming, 22. 

Napoleon takes up his residence 

at, 150. 
Return o f Napoleon to, after 
exile at Elba, 433. 

Turreau, commander of military force 

at Nice, 46. 
Turkey, Napoleon seeks a commission 

to, 37. 


trim, surrender of, 195. 
Ushant, Napoleon's last .view of 
France, 501. 

Valence, Napoleon at, 21-2. 
Vandarame, General, defeated at 

Culm, 364. 
Valoutina, battle of, 324. 
Vaubois, General, defeat of in Italy, 

Vendemiaire, 13th, 41. 
Venice, Republic, fall of, 102. 
Vernet, French artist, at defense of 

Paris, 399. 
Victor, (Marshal and General) at Mar- 
engo, 164. 
At the Beresina, 342. 
At Montereau, 387. 
Vienna, entry of Napoleon into, 1805, 
Treaty of, after Austerlitz, 210. 
Surrender of, 1809, 286. 
Congress of, 420, 435. 
Villoutreys, Colonel, treason of, 446. 
Vittoria, defeat of French at, 374. 


Wagram, battle of, 296-99. 
Washington, Napoleon honors, 151. 
Waterloo, bivouac of, 458-62. 

Battle of, 463-86. 
Wellington, Duke of, in Spain, 326. 
In Spain, 1813, 350. 
Final success in Spain, 358. 
Commander-in-chief British army, 

1815, 440. 
At Waterloo, 458-88. 
Wertingen, battle of, 193. 
Wilna, headquarters of Napoleon at, 

Witgenstein, Russian general, 316. 
In command of Russian army, 
Wrede de. General, at Wagram, 298. 
Wurmser, Austrian general, in Italy, 

Wurmser, replaces General Beaulieu, 
Defeat of, 77. 

Znaim, armistice at, 302. 




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